Colorado Off Road Vehicle Mud Fest Destroys Wetlands

October 29, 2000

Michael Johnsen

On September 23, more than 400 people in sports utility vehicles, trucks, and all terrain vehicles trespassed on private property in the Caribou Creek area near Nederland, Colorado. Nearly 25 acres of the wetlands were left covered in tire tracks and oil slicks. The high mountain alpine wetland lies at nearly 10,000 ft. and is prime habitat for the highly imperiled western boreal toad, migrating elk and birds, and a rare species of willow. Land owner Tom Hendricks hired an environmental consulting firm to determine damage and cost of repairs to the wetlands, which are expected to cost many thousands per acre.

. .. Boulder County Sheriff's officials are investigating the role that a Denver radio station, KBPI, played in advertising the "mud fest." Two KBPI disc jockeys have received $50 fines and the Sheriff's Department is considering criminal charges against other mud fest participants.

For more information: Vanessa Arbogast, Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative,