COLORADO SPRINGS — A group of people wants to protect two historic roads in the Pikes Peak region, Old Stage and Gold Camp Roads.
Friends of Old Stage & Gold Camp Road have concerns visitors are causing damage in the area that could potentially cause a destructive wildfire.
The group would like to see more signs and patrols on these two roads to discourage illegal activity and promote correct behaviors. The group consists of ranchers, outfitters, non-profits, residents, and outdoor enthusiasts. They want the roads to remain open and for people to be responsible while soaking up the beauty around them.
“Lots of us who grew up in the area,” Greg Wellens said. “We know that old stage road was an awesome place to recreate. People love recreating. But it’s getting pretty wild up there. It’s a very popular place close to town. 700,000 people living here in Colorado Springs. It needs some support. It needs more help up there.”
Friends of Old Stage & Gold Camp Road is an environmental conservation organization on a mission to prevent fire, pollution, and lawlessness.
“You don’t want anybody starting a fire, right? Fire mitigation, the Waldo Canyon Fire, the fires up in Superior, you know. Look at that beautiful mountain over there. It had fires back in the thirties and forties, I believe it was. But we don’t want another fire,” Wellens added. “You know, it’s an amazing asset here for Colorado Springs and the whole high-speed region. We want to see that it remains a beautiful asset.”
The group says 75% of the previous year’s fires located around these historic roads were shooting-related.
“And what people can do to help us is, you know, shoot where you’re supposed to shoot. Don’t dump your trash out on the road,” Wellens explained. “There’s obviously contract ers or people who maybe aren’t familiar. They’ve been dumping piles of debris and brush on the side of the road.”
The group wants to create a management and long-term funding program to allow for law enforcement to patrol both roads. They hope to raise $250,000 a year.
“We are going to have a sheriff deputy deputized up there to help educate, help, and for us help people to understand, you know, what they can be doing, where they should be doing it,” Wellens said.
Right now, El Paso County is in Stage One Fire Restrictions which means no fireworks.