A VITAL LINK FOR MANY
Motorized travel in the UFO ranges from standard passenger vehicles driving on maintained roads to off-highway vehicles (OHVs) operating on primitive roads and trails. OHVs include off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, jeeps, specialized 4x4 trucks, and snowmobiles. Mountain bikes are the predominant mechanized vehicle, while other modes of travel include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, pack animal driving, hiking, boating, hang-gliding, paragliding, ballooning, and wheelchairs.
OHV Area Designations
The BLM designates areas within the UFO as open, limited to existing roads and trails, limited to designated roads and trails, and closed to motorized use. Approximately 54% of the planning area for the Uncompahgre Resource Management Plan is designated as open to motorized use, while 46% is limited to existing or designated roads and trails, or has additional restrictions such as seasonal closures.
Current Travel Picture
Within the Uncompahgre Field Office, factors influencing travel management planning include:
· Lack of comprehensive travel management planning that considers the relationships between various resources, authorized access, and recreation uses.
· Historic routes that predate planning for recreational opportunities.
· Unauthorized uses (including user-created routes) emanating from existing routes and causing impacts to other resources.
· Subdivision of private property resulting in the creation of new access points to public lands.
· Routes/areas that are open to motorized use, but are accessible only to adjacent landowners.
· Conflicts between recreational users.