County plans pushback on 
BLM roads 
closure plan

The Mesa County Commission is set on Monday to assert control over roads and rights of way, setting up a potential confrontation with the Bureau of Land Management, which is considering road closures on lands it manages in the county.

The commissioners are claiming the right to control roads under federal law, including U.S. Revised Statute 2477, a post-Civil War measure designed to encourage development of the West.

The BLM is studying proposed changes to the Grand Junction office’s resource management plan, including transportation for the more than 1 million acres it manages in Mesa County and in some adjoining counties. Among the changes to the plan are several proposed road closures.

The travel-management portion of the plan was part of the plan that garnered the most comment and access advocates also pressed the commission to take a strong position against road closures by the BLM.

“Our board received a petition last year signed by over 1,800 constituents asking us to keep access on our public lands open to the public,” Commissioner Rose Pugliese said in a statement. “By reaffirming our county’s authority over these roads and rights of way, we can help protect access.”

The county’s resolution also calls on Congress to develop legislation “to improve the procedure for respecting grants of rights-of-way under R.S. 2477.”


COMMENTS

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Maybe they should work on getting to the bottom of the shenanigans on the Airport they are suppose to share some oversight of rather than picking a new fight that will be worth cash to consultants and get nothing done. How many tax dollars has Utah spent on this matter, and how many miles of dirt two track ‘highways’ has it laid titled claim to?  Wouldn’t those dollars serve the people of the county and state better going to improve the actual roads, bridges, and traffic-bearing infrastructure of the county?  This is ‘fiscal’ responsibility?

Peter,

The county has an attorney on staff already so the fiscal impact is minimal. We understand your agenda to make all of the federal land in Mesa County roadless, but trying to make that agenda into a fiscal argument is disingenuous.

Maybe the Commissioners should start with the road that the previous Commissioners closed up on Glade Park.

My ‘agenda.’  Whatever, make up whatever straw man you wish and go forth and slay it.  Utah has spent millions and millions on this very issue and has ‘claimed’ one road.

Say what you will about millions of dollars being spent Peter. It’s simple paperwork at this point at little cost to anything but your roadless agenda.

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