COLORADO - San Juan NF and BLM-Tres Rios FO Release Long Awaited Management Plan

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October 29, 2013 10:02 AM

COLORADO - San Juan NF and BLM-Tres Rios FO Release Long Awaited Management Plan

Greetings BRC Action Alert Subscribers,

You know how sometimes we joke about how land use planning moves at a glacial pace? Well... it really isn't a joke.

After nine years the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have released a final management plan for two areas that were managed out of the same office when the planning effort began. (That was under the "Centennial" plan that attempted to save funds by cooperatively sharing resources between the two agencies.)

We're not sure we even want to know why the Centennial office idea didn't stick around. Maybe it was too efficient for the federal bureaucracy! But for whatever reasons, the U.S. Forest Service's San Juan National Forest and the BLM's Tres Rio Field Office are now managed from separate offices.

Since they began the planning process together, the agencies released their combined joint Land and Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement with separate Records of Decision. The Plan addresses long-term management of about 2.4 million acres of National Forest and BLM lands in southwestern Colorado.

The documents are available online at:
www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/sjplc/land_use_planning.html or
www.fs.usda.gov/main/sanjuan/landmanagement/planning

The documents are also available on CD by calling the San Juan Public Lands Center at 970-247-4874 or the Dolores Public Lands Office (DPLO) at 970-882-7296, or you may pick one up at the at the following locations:

San Juan Public Lands Center, 15 Burnett Court, Durango, CO 81301
BLM Tres Rios Field Office and the Dolores Ranger District (i.e., DPLO), 29211 Hwy. 184, Dolores, CO 81323

Columbine Ranger District, 367 S. Pearl Street, Bayfield, CO 81122
Pagosa Ranger District, 180 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

This area is a key recreational destination for millions of public lands visitors. It encompasses the epic Alpine Triangle area, the prized Rico-Dolores trails, Durango's mountain bike mecca and snowmobiling at Durango Mountain Resort, Purgatory, Missionary Ridge and numerous trails out of Durango and Pagosa Springs.

Sadly, the new plan will mandate the complete elimination of motorized use in any Recommended Wilderness Areas, so that's bad. The plan does allow mountain bike use in RWAs under certain conditions, so that's good.

The agencies have different procedures for releasing their Records of Decision. BRC, as well as Colorado's snowmobile and OHV advocacy groups are reviewing the plan for possible appeal/protest/objection opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Manfredi, Plan Revision Team Lead at (970-385-1229), Mark Lambert, SJNF Staff Officer Planning and Public Service at (970-385-1240), or Gina Jones BLM SW District NEPA Coordinator (970-240-5381).

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 107

 

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
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