GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management recently completed work at local National Conservation Areas to improve user experience with better parking and accessibility.
Future visitors to McInnis Canyons and Dominguez-Escalante NCAs will find new or improved features designed to enhance sustainability and visitor experience.
The Rabbit Valley project in the McInnis Canyons NCA improved an existing trailhead, replaced an old restroom and reoriented the trailhead to make best use of space. Members of the public embarking on adventures from the Rabbit Valley parking lot will also find a better delineated parking area. Users can access this feature by exiting US Interstate 70 at the Rabbit Valley exit.
The BLM also has plans to redesign and improve the northernmost developed campground in Rabbit Valley in the spring. The future project is designed to enlarge the campground footprint and redesign the camp spots and vehicle access. According to Kathryn “Katie” Stevens, NCA manager, the goal is to improve access for a more convenient and pleasant experience.
The Dominguez-Escalante NCA project features a new parking area at Bridgeport. The parking area is the first phase of a project to improve visitor access to the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. The new parking area with a new restroom is further from the railroad and will add separate parking for hikers, buses and horse trailers. While there is parking for horse trailers, horses are currently not allowed on the trails at Bridgeport. The BLM is working to reopen the area to horses once it is restored from 2011 water damage.
The BLM is working with local cooperators to discuss the next phases of this project, which is set to include a railroad underpass.
“The projects are designed to enhance the experience for visitors,” said Stevens. “We want people to enjoy recreating on public lands.” Stevens added that facilities need to have layouts and facilities that help visitors have pleasant visits. “Facility designs change over time with visitor needs, it’s important to update our facilities to meet the needs of people recreating today.”
For more information, call Christopher Joyner, BLM Public Affairs Specialist, at 970 210-2126.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.