News Release

For Release:  February 1, 2008       
Contacts:  Steve Razo 951-697-5217 or Hector Villalobos 760-384-5400
CA-CDD-08-23

BLM to Revise Proposed Plan Amendment on Furnace Creek

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has withdrawn for revision its pending proposal regarding long-term management of a 3.75 mile-long portion of the Furnace Creek Road leading up to the Inyo National Forest boundary in Mono County.

The road segment has been closed since 2003 to provide interim protection of sensitive resources, according to BLM Ridgecrest Field Manager Hector Villalobos.  Since then both BLM and the Forest Service, which administers the adjoining road segment on National Forest lands, have developed proposals to manage vehicular access in a manner that protects the wetlands, riparian habitat, and water quality of the area.

BLM, which is also required to amend its California Desert Plan as part of the authorization process, issued a proposed plan amendment in May 2007 to allow for vehicular access for casual public use.  Some 182 public protests were received, Villalobos said, pointing out weaknesses in regard to the wilderness, cultural resources, and cumulative impact analysis. 

“We agreed the environmental assessment and proposed plan amendment had shortcomings and have withdrawn the proposal to enable us to revise and strengthen that analysis,” Villalobos said.  He said BLM intends to prepare a revised document and publish it for at least a 30-day public comment period sometime this spring.

-BLM-

California Desert District Office – 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217