United States Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management

 

 Gunnison Field Office
650 South 11th Street
Gunnison, CO 81230

Uncompahgre Field Office
 2505 South Townsend Ave.
 Montrose, CO 81401

Dear Reader:

Enclosed for your review is a proposed amendment to the Gunnison Resource Area and Uncompahgre Basin Resource Area Resource Management Plans. This plan amendment is a refinement and explanation of the Proposed Action contained in the Environmental Assessment - Gunnison Travel Interim Restrictions, portions of Gunnison, Hinsdale, Delta, Montrose, and Saguache Counties, Colorado, August, 2000. The Environmental Assessment (EA) was jointly prepared and published for a 60-day review and comment period by the two BLM offices and the Gunnison National Forest. The comment period ended January 26, 2001. The proposed plan amendment is published in an abbreviated form and is designed to be used in conjunction with the EA dated August, 2000, and the two Resource Management Plans.

This proposed plan amendment is available for a 30-day protest period. Instructions for protesting this amendment are attached behind the proposed plan amendment documentation.

The proposed plan amendment describes the specific changes in management of off-highway motorized and non-motorized cross-country use that will occur on lands managed by the two BLM offices if the amendment is made effective.

The affected lands cover about 437,000 of the public lands in the Gunnison Field Office area and approximately 66,646 acres of public lands in the North Fork Valley area of the Uncompahgre Field Office. No changes in current use on existing roads or trails will occur as a result of these amendments being implemented, nor would any roads or trails be closed to existing uses under the proposed amendments. The amendments prohibit, on the affected public lands in the two Field Offices, cross-country, off-route travel by motorized, or non-motorized wheeled mechanical vehicles. Some exceptions to this restriction apply. This is a proposed interim measure the BLM is taking until site specific, route-by-route analysis can be done to eventually determine the best way to manage these uses and the mix of uses on roads and trails. The map which is part of the proposed plan amendment shows the general areas that will be affected by implementing these proposed amendments.

Attached to the proposed plan amendment documentation is a Finding of No Significant Impact for the EA, covering both proposed amendments.

Included in the package is a copy of the responses to the comments the Forest Service and BLM received during the review and comment period. No changes were made to the EA as a result of analyzing the comments.

At the end of the 30-day protest period, and after the Governor of Colorado's consistency review, the proposed plan amendment, excluding any portion under protest, shall become final. Approval shall be withheld on any portion of the proposed plan amendment under protest until final action has been completed on such protest. A decision document will then be prepared to amend the two Resource Management Plans.

We appreciate the time and effort you have expended during your involvement in this process. Your continued participation is essential to achieve wise management of public lands and resources.

Sincerely,

Brian St. George
Field Manager
Gunnison Field Office

Allan Belt
Field Manager
Uncompahgre Field Office


Created by the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado
Point of Contact:
Bill Bottomly