Gunnison travel plan affirmed

A U.S. Forest Service official has affirmed a travel management plan for federal lands in the Gunnison Basin and North Fork Valley, and the agency is taking the first steps toward implementing it.

Deputy regional forester Maribeth Gustafson approved the plan Sept. 30 after a regional appeal-reviewing officer determined the plan decision violated no law, regulation or policy. That decision was issued in June by Charlie Richmond, supervisor of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

The plan includes changes such as a 26 percent reduction in public road mileage open to full-size vehicles, with an emphasis on closing spur and dead-end roads.

Local forest officials plan to first develop a motorized-vehicle-use map for the affected areas, with information such as what types of vehicles are allowed where, and what seasonal restrictions apply. They will put up route marker signs in the summer and expect to possibly shift from informational and educational efforts to enforcement by next fall’s hunting season.


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