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Release Date: 04/30/14
Contacts: Chris Joyner, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 244-3097    

Volunteers help enhance visitor experience in McInnis NCA

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – More than 50 volunteers worked over the weekend with the Bureau of Land Management in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area to improve user experience with an improved trail system.

Many visitors to the Devils Canyon area of the NCA reported a confusing maze of user-created trails twisting in various directions distracting from the natural landscape.  Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado gathered Saturday and Sunday with shovels and other tools to remove and rehabilitate social trails in an area open to foot and horseback travel only. 

“When social trails crisscross, the landscape you’re left with is no longer natural,” said Collin Ewing, NCA manager in Grand Junction.  “We rely on our volunteer partners to ensure NCA visitors have a quality experience in line with the purpose for which the US Congress designated this land.” 

The BLM encourages the responsible use of trail systems by asking visitors to remain on established trails.  Rehabilitation of user-created trails is expensive and time consuming and ultimately causes unintended consequences.  Lost hikers requiring rescue often cite confusing user-created, unmarked trails as a reason for getting lost.  The fragile landscape of McInnis Canyons NCA relies heavily upon cryptobiotic soil crusts that are easily damaged by foot travel.

“The partnership VOC has with the BLM is mutually beneficial, and we readily welcome the opportunity to work together,” says Steve Wall, project manager with VOC.  “Our hard-working volunteers really made a difference over a short weekend, restoring damaged areas, building a safe and sustainable trail in this fragile natural area and improving the overall recreational experience for the NCA users.”

To volunteer on your public lands, visit Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado at

For more information, contact 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. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 04-30-2014