BLM initiates evaluation of travel and camping in Chaffee County
CAÑON CITY, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office is looking to hear from the public before undertaking a planning effort to improve travel and camping on BLM-managed lands in Chaffee County. A public input period begins today and will continue through May 20.
“Dispersed camping on public lands in Chaffee County has grown in popularity over the past few years and this open house will help us get poised to begin a formal planning effort,” said Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger. “We are eager to hear from the public and get their perspectives on minimizing impacts to resources and existing uses to ensure everyone can continue enjoying their public lands.”
Chaffee County estimates that recreation use grew by 12% per year from 2016 to 2019 based on visitor spending data. BLM-managed lands in the county have seen some of the largest increases in use in recent years, as well as an increase in impacts.
The planning effort is intended to support the county’s “Recreation in Balance” initiative, a collaborative effort between private organizations, non-profit groups, and local, state, and Federal agencies.
The Royal Gorge Field Office is accepting feedback on routes and camping areas on BLM-managed lands in Chaffee County starting today, April 20. The feedback will help to develop preliminary alternatives for managing travel and camping use.
Comments can be submitted through the project’s ePlanning website https://go.usa.gov/xHDQ7 through May 20. More information on the public input period and instructions for providing input can be found on the ePlanning website.
Formal public scoping for the project is expected to begin in late summer 2021.
In fiscal year 2018, recreation on land managed by the BLM in Colorado contributed about $652 million to the economy and supported more than 5,000 jobs.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.