U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: May 10, 2007
BLM Releases Proposed Plan Amendment for Furnace Creek Road
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability of the proposed plan amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan for the long-term management of a 3.75 mile-long portion of Furnace Creek Road.
The proposed plan amendment only addresses the 3.75 miles located on BLM-managed public lands in Mono County that leads up to the Inyo National Forest boundary. The amendment includes a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) and designates the 3.75 miles of Furnace Creek Road on BLM administered lands as approved for vehicular access for casual public use. Publication of the availability initiates the 30-day protest period portion of the land use plan amendment process. Specific protest procedures are outlined in the proposed plan amendment.
A plan amendment is needed to complete the motorized vehicle access and travel management planning initiated under the CDCA plan and subsequent amendments for the Northern and Eastern Mojave Desert (NEMO) area. In its May 2004 NEMO route designation amendment, BLM committed to addressing the Furnace Creek Road in a “separate planning process.”
In June 2004, Ridgecrest BLM and the Inyo National Forest entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze potential impacts of closing the Furnace Creek road to vehicular traffic. As part of the public involvement process, the agencies conducted four meetings and two field tours from November 2003 through June 26, 2004, to gather additional scoping comments.
The Furnace Creek Road EA was released for a 30-day public comment period January 15, 2005. Two additional public meetings were held in February 2005 to gather additional public comments. The EA has been available for review at http://www.ca.blm.gov/ridgecrest/.
On October 30, 2006, BLM published a "Notice of Intent" (NOI) to amend the CDCA plan in the Federal Register. This notice provided the public with 30 days to comment on BLM’s proposed plan amendment for Furnace Creek Road. Comments were received and reviewed.
The proposed plan amendment, "Findings of No Significant Impact" and the environmental assessment can be obtained at the BLM California Desert District Office and at the Ridgecrest Field Office, as well as on BLM Ridgecrest’s website at http://www.ca.blm.gov/ridgecrest/.
For more information contact the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office at (760) 384-5400.
California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217