Ear to the ground

“Wow, things must really be good at theTelegraph.”

-Avid reader after seeing an employee delivering papers in a borrowed Lexus

Manning pedals off into the sunset

The local trail system took a hard hit this week. Bill Manning, the patron saint of Durango singletrack and executive director of Trails 2000, announced he will be leaving his post and Durango.

Manning has accepted a job as the managing director of the Denver-based Colorado Trail Foundation, a group he has served as a board member for the past three years

Whether swinging Pulaskis, installing water bars or negotiating touchy access easements, Manning has put well over a decade of hard work into the local trail system. Trails 2000 was founded in 1990 as a partnership between the private sector and public agencies. With Manning at its helm, the group has updated, coordinated and modernized the local trail system. In the year 2004 alone, Trails 2000 was responsible for more than 2,705 work hours and keeping 103 miles and 27 trails in the buff. Trails 2000 has had its hand in the local dirt everywhere between Molas Pass and Bondad and keeps riders, hikers and runners smiling year round.

However, Manning said that he couldn’t turn down an opportunity to head up the Colorado Trail Foundation. The dream job will also allow him to spend more time with and give support to his family, all of whom live in Denver.

“With family tugging at my heartstrings and a great job opportunity, both in Denver, I have decided to leave Durango and Trails 2000,” he said. “This has been a tough decision for me because I love Durango and all you wonderful people that contribute so much to our community.”

Trails 2000 will continue in his absence, Manning said. The organization is healthy thanks largely to a great pool of volunteers and dedicated supporters. During the next few months, he will be on hand to ease the transition and officially step down in January.

Manning said he is looking forward to his final months in Durango, and looking back at the past 10 years with Trails 2000, he is pleased with some accomplishments.

“It was great to be part of the Trails 2000 organization, succeeding with big things like building the Telegraph Trail System and preserving the Durango Mountain Park,” he said. “I’ll be in Durango for a good while yet, until the end of January, and look forward to seeing all my great friends. This is a wonderful place.”


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