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West Trail Study Area

West Trail Study Area

In 2011, Open Space and Mountain Parks finalized a plan for the City of Boulder's western open space. The West Trail Study Area plan will guide the use and management of these lands for the next 10 years. Please visit the West TSA Implementation page for progress updates on projects identified in the plan.

The West Trail Study Area extends west of Broadway and SH 93 from Linden Avenue to Eldorado Springs Drive. Learn more about the development of the plan below.

West Trail Study Area Background Information

West Trail Study Area Planning Process

Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) launched the Community Collaborative Process to engage the public in the planning process and to create recommendations for the West Trail Study Area. Instead of OSMP staff developing the components of the plan, then asking for public comment and making revisions, community members and OSMP worked together up front to build the plan. At the core of this Community Collaborative Process is the Community Collaborative Group (CCG). This group, made up of representatives who reflect the diversity of interests found in the community, was elected by approximately 300 Boulder residents.

CCG Decision Making Process

The CCG was asked to develop a set of recommendations to form the basis for the West Trail Study Area Plan. The CCG made decisions by consensus. Consensus means that all CCG members agreed to the package of proposals, if one member did not agree with a particular plan recommendation, consensus was not reached and that recommendation was not included in the CCG plan recommendations.

Open Space and Mountain Parks

The final package of CCG plan recommendations was approved by the Open Space Board of Trustees (OSBT). OSMP staff used the CCG's recommendations to form the basis of the West Trail Study Area Plan, and developed recommendations for non-consensus items (mountain biking) and other topics not addressed by the CCG. The OSBT approved the West TSA Plan with some changes in Feb. 2011. City Council approved the plan with some changes in March 2011. City Council further considered mountain biking in the Anemone area and no-dog opportunities, resulting in several additional changes to the plan.

Community Collaborative Group (CCG) Recommendations

The West TSA Plan includes consensus recommendations developed by the Community Collaborative Group (CCG).

The Sideboards report provided up front guidance to the CCG. Sideboards described what must be considered when developing the plan as well as what is beyond the scope of the plan.

Public Input Opportunities

There were many opportunities for public  input during the West TSA planning process, including open houses, Open Space Board of Trustees Meetings, and City Council Meetings.

OSMP received several hundred separate comments during the development of West TSA Plan. OSMP created a compendium of public input containing the individual comments submitted as part of the West TSA planning process. 

Community Collaborative Group Process

The Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) department committed to the community having an extensive voice in the West TSA Plan. A collaborative, representative, and transparent public process was needed for the West TSA as it is the backdrop to the City of Boulder, has enormously popular trails, a long history of use, diverse natural systems, and many adjacent neighborhoods, and therefore many different and divergent community interests. To address these varied community interests, OSMP staff and the Open Space Board of Trustees recognized the benefit of using a collaborative community process to develop recommendations. The Community Collaborative Group (CCG) was selected by community peers to represent resource conservation, recreation, cultural resource and neighborhood interests and charged to develop consensus recommendations for the West TSA Plan. 

The CCG met twice monthly for 14 months. Every CCG meeting was open to the public and time was set aside at the beginning of each meeting to hear public comment. CCG members met throughout the process with their constituents and received hundreds of individual comments from the community.

Inventory Documents and Reports

The Inventory Reports represent a compilation and analysis of information about existing conditions for the natural, cultural, and recreational resources in the West TSA. The information is based on field work, research studies, surveys, resource inventories, and on-the-ground knowledge of the area by OSMP staff and the public. The reports consist of an Executive Summary / Key Findings, a Natural Resource Inventory, a Cultural Resource Inventory, and a Recreational Resource Inventory.

Targets, Attributes and Indicators Report

This report contains the Targets, Attributes, and Indicators (TAIs) for natural, cultural, and recreational resources in the West TSA. TAIs provide a hierarchy of planning information that is increasingly more specific in defining what we are planning for (targets and attributes) and how we measure (indicators) the status of existing resource conditions and progress toward desired conditions. This report precedes the West TSA inventory report. The TAI report was used to focus and frame the inventory report.


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