Proposed BLM travel plan lays out rec access
The Bureau of Land Management announced earlier this week that it has released the final environmental assessment for its proposed Travel Management Resource Management Plan Amendment for the 1.5-million-acre White River Field Office in northwestern Colorado.
The proposed plan amendment will provide access for diverse recreational opportunities, including off-road motorized areas as well as places for high-quality big game hunting in non-motorized areas, according to a press release from the BLM.
Under the proposed plan amendment, the vast majority of the lands managed by the field office, based in Meeker, would allow motorized travel on designated routes. Four areas would be open to cross-country motorized travel, such as the Rangely Rock Crawling Park.
Twelve areas would continue to allow non-motorized access, including nine areas where big-game hunting would be emphasized. The designations would not change the status of several wilderness study areas.
“These area designations provide the guidance for future route-by-route designations, the next step for developing a comprehensive travel network across the field office,” according to the release.
“We worked very closely with local officials and the public to develop this comprehensive approach,” White River Field Manager Kent Walter said in the release. “It offers a variety of opportunities, balanced with protecting sensitive areas and resources.”
The BLM’s White River Field Office administers nearly 1.5 million BLM surface acres and more than 2.1 million subsurface acres in Rio Blanco, Moffat, and northern Garfield counties.
These lands include 14 recreation sites; one National Scenic Byway and one National Historic District; six Wilderness Study Areas; habitat for eight federally protected Endangered, Threatened, and Candidate species; 122,000 acres of priority habitat and 180,200 acres of general habitat for Greater Sage Grouse; as well as more than 1.4 million acres grazed by livestock, the BLM said.
Last year, recreation on BLM-managed lands in Colorado generated $618 million and supported more than 5,000 jobs.
The proposed plan is online at https://go.usa.gov/xn6N6. The release initiates a 30-day protest period, which closes on Aug. 20. Information about filing a protest is also available on this site.
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