BLM seeks input on fourth Owyhee County travel management plan to reduce user conflicts and protect natural resources


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Boise District Office

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BOISE, Idaho—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District seeks input during a 30-day public comment period on the Silver City Travel Management Plan Environmental Assessment. The proposed plan defines a comprehensive system of motorized travel routes through central Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho, ensuring access to BLM-managed public lands, while addressing potential conflicts between users and natural resources.

The BLM would designate between 1,000 to 1,072 miles as open for motorized vehicles, providing access to 425,000 acres of BLM-managed public land. The BLM will allocate up to 5 miles specifically for all-terrain or utility task vehicle use. The range of closed routes is projected to be between 23 to 70 miles. 

“The plan will establish a route network to provide needed access and a variety of experiences for public land users. We need to balance the need for access, the impacts of access, and the desire for quality recreational experiences.” said BLM Acting Owyhee Field Manager Ammon Wilhelm.

The BLM is required by Congress to manage public lands for a variety of uses such as livestock grazing, recreation, and mining, while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use. A Travel Management Plan includes an analysis process to designate routes that will ensure public land access for these varied uses, while also:

•    providing areas with motorized and non-motorized recreation activities,
•    preventing soil and vegetation damage resulting from the proliferation of routes, and
•    reducing conflicts between various recreation users.

Public comments on these proposed route systems will be received through February 12, 2024, and can be submitted via BLM National NEPA Register: The purpose of the comment period is to provide relevant information to the BLM about the proposed alternatives. 

The BLM has divided Owyhee County into five segments to analyze for travel management planning. 
The Silver City is the fourth plan to be reviewed and will be followed by Grand View travel management plan. The goal is to complete all plans by spring 2024. For additional information, please contact Ammon Wilhelm at 208-384-3343

Abandoned building in the historic site of Silver City Idaho
Abandoned building in the historic site of Silver City Idaho (Photo credit - Adobe Stock)

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.