Printed letters, April 16, 2013

Despite the overheated rhetoric, BLM is right to address the spider web of unplanned routes that have accumulated on our public lands over the last century. Looking at the proposed travel maps, it’s clear the BLM tries to strike a balance between access and protection. Most of the miles of closures are duplicate routes or dead-end spurs.

I went to a recent BLM open house and heard several loud voices calling to keep it all open, the status quo is fine.

I don’t believe this is true—the unplanned dense network of routes creates dust, fragments wildlife habitat and cuts up the countryside so much that it’s hard to find places to hike or hunt away from the sound of motors. This well-rounded approach benefits all public lands users, including hikers.

I appreciate the BLM’s adult and balanced effort to address this important issue that will help both preserve recreational opportunities for motorized and human-powered alike, plus protect the health of our public lands.

SCOTT BRADEN

Golden

BLM plan addresses both
recreation, wildlife protection

When the Grand Junction BLM released its Draft Resource Management Plan last January, I was a little apprehensive. I was concerned that the preferred alternative would be centered on motorized use of these lands and encourage ATV type recreation.

When I looked at this draft plan, however, I was pleased. The preferred alternative had several Lands of Wilderness Characteristics, but most important was the reduction in the number of roads in the preferred Alternative B.

Alternative C had even more roads closed, thus opening up more wildlife habitat. The BLM eliminated roads that paralleled other roads or had no destination.

You may ask why I was pleased. The Resource Management Plan should be about balancing environmental parameters that ensure stable viable habitat for wildlife, as well as providing a high quality outdoor experience, a task that can be achieved. We must remember these lands are the habitat for a myriad of species, plant and animal, and roads can have negative impacts on animal populations and movement.

In its draft management plan on page 4-127 the BLM comments, “In general the more acres of routes that are designated in the planning area, the greater the likelihood of habitat fragmentation and disturbance to species and habitats.”

One of BLM’s planning issues is how it will manage our public lands to provide for the needs of fish and wildlife species.

I will be responding to this draft plan with letters that support roads closed by the BLM and which will subsequently improve wildlife habitat.

ERIC RECHEL

Grand Junction

Concerned citizens must write
to Washington about plan

Why are we having a Resource Management Plan? It states right in the RMP handbook in Chapter 1, introduction , page 1-1. (BLM 1987) that BLM “provides management direction where it may be lacking or requiring clarification to resolve land use issues or conflicts.” The introduction also states, “Current management direction that has proven effective and requires no change has been carried forward into this RMP and will be considered throughout the analysis process.”

If it requires no change, why are we spending tax dollars on this RMP?

Why aren’t we using the funds for sites for directional drilling so soils and other aspects aren’t harmed? We need all right-of-ways left open for public usage. If we close off any of these right-of-ways, it will cause more impact on those areas.

We are growing fast in this area and need all the access for the public that we can get. We have wilderness areas for those of you that ride horseback and love to hike.

I know the percentage in motorized to wilderness in Montana is 3.7 percent wilderness and 96.3 percent motorized, which is probably comparable in this state.

We also have wilderness study areas that don’t qualify for wilderness designation. This could be put back into normal management that would help on the impact of other areas.

If managed under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, it would lessen the impact on our environment in other areas.

We have federal law RS 2477 that would be used to open these right-of ways that have been close to access and state law 43-2-201 C.R.S. In the RMP handbook it states (page 3-205):  “In summary, WSA’s must be managed in a manner that would not impair the suitability of the area for preservation as wilderness and to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation.”

Except for grandfathered users and valid existing rights. RS 2477 was a grandfathered right under the FLPMA. So, why are these right-of-ways not open for the public to use? These are laws that are not being used to keep more access to the public open.

We, as concerned citizens, need to write to Washington and tell them we want them back. You can do this online or by mail, so get involved. More area, less impact. It’s not rocket science.

JODY GREEN

Grand Junction

BLM plan addresses both
recreation, wildlife protection

When the Grand Junction BLM released its Draft Resource Management Plan last January, I was a little apprehensive. I was concerned that the preferred alternative would be centered on motorized use of these lands and encourage ATV type recreation.

When I looked at this draft plan, however, I was pleased. The preferred alternative had several Lands of Wilderness Characteristics, but most important was the reduction in the number of roads in the preferred Alternative B.

Alternative C had even more roads closed, thus opening up more wildlife habitat. The BLM eliminated roads that paralleled other roads or had no destination.

You may ask why I was pleased. The Resource Management Plan should be about balancing environmental parameters that ensure stable viable habitat for wildlife, as well as providing a high quality outdoor experience, a task that can be achieved. We must remember these lands are the habitat for a myriad of species, plant and animal, and roads can have negative impacts on animal populations and movement.

In its draft management plan on page 4-127 the BLM comments, “In general the more acres of routes that are designated in the planning area, the greater the likelihood of habitat fragmentation and disturbance to species and habitats.”

One of BLM’s planning issues is “how they (the BLM) will manage our public lands to provide for the needs of fish and wildlife species?”

I will be responding to this draft plan with letters that support roads closed by the BLM and which will subsequently improve wildlife habitat.

ERIC RECHEL

Grand Junction



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