Bureau of Land Management to expand outdoor recreation opportunities in Wood River Valley

SHOSHONE, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Shoshone Field Office, Twin Falls District, has released a decision that will expand opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping and other types of outdoor recreation in the vicinity of the communities of Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley in Blaine County and a small portion of Camas County in south central Idaho.

The Decision Record for the Wood River Valley Recreation and Access Environmental Assessment authorizes construction of approximately 81 miles of new trails as well as seven new trailheads and 21 new designated dispersed campsites primarily in the Kelly and Quigley Gulches and Cove Creek. It also changes some existing trail designations to allow the use of e-bikes.

Additionally, the decision modifies existing seasonal off-highway vehicle (OHV) use restriction areas. The OHV restrictions would be implemented annually from Jan. 1 to April 30 and are expanded to include more of the urban interface areas and important wildlife corridors throughout the Wood River Valley.

This decision also allows the BLM to implement restrictions to protect wintering wildlife only when conditions warrant and only in areas where animals are congregating. This may include any human activity impacting deer and elk during times when they are most vulnerable, between January and April. 

The final decision incorporates proposals from the public and is consistent with local government planning efforts.

“Public lands, recreation and wildlife are vitally important to Wood River Valley residents and visitors— their input has been integral to this process for several years,” said Codie Martin, Shoshone Field Manager. “While it is challenging to completely satisfy the broad spectrum of requests, we are confident that this decision reflects a good compromise. It balances the recreational access desires of the local community while mitigating threats to other coexisting resources of concern such as wildlife, wilderness characteristics and cultural resources.”

The BLM will construct the new trails, trailheads and dispersed campsites over the next several years as funding and other resources allow.

The Decision Record, EA, maps and supporting documents, titled DOI-BLM-ID-T030-2020-0015-EA, can be viewed on the BLM NEPA Register website using Chrome, Edge, Safari or Firefox at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/home.

For further information, please contact John Kurtz, Shoshone Outdoor Recreation Planner, at 208-732-7296.

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’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. 

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Bureau of Land Management


Heather Tiel-Nelson