The Bureau of Land Management increasing access to public lands in San Juan County
GUNNISON, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Gunnison Field Office has announced changes that will increase recreation offerings and public access on BLM lands near Silverton in San Juan County.
“This decision responds to requests from the Town of Silverton and recreational user groups for more trails in the area,” said BLM Gunnison Field Manager Elijah Waters. “The roads and trails authorized by this decision will enhance the recreational offerings and access to public lands in the area for residents and visitors alike.”
The decision allows for construction of approximately 30 miles of trails in what will be known as Bakers Park. The trails in the Bakers Park area were recommended by the Town of Silverton in the 2019 Silverton Area Trails Plan. Once constructed, these trails will be open to hiking, biking, and Class 1 electric bicycles (e-bikes).
Additionally, 1.6-miles of single-track trail in Minnie Gulch will be re-routed and designated for single-track motorized use, creating a single-track motorized connection to a robust motorized trail network on nearby USDA Forest Service lands. The rerouted trail will avoid sensitive landscapes and ecological areas to balance recreational opportunity and protection of resources.
Approximately 12 miles of existing routes will be authorized for public use as part of the decision. These routes will provide access for a variety of activities, including camping, wood gathering, hiking, biking, and stock use.
The decision furthers a number of the Department of the Interior’s priorities, including those found under Secretary’s Order 3366, Increasing Recreational Opportunities on Lands and Waters Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Secretary’s Order 3376, Increasing Recreational Opportunities through the use of Electric Bikes.
The Finding of No Significant Impact on the implementation-level Silverton Travel Management Environmental Assessment, the decision, and maps of the trails included in the plan are available on BLM’s ePlanning site at https://go.usa.gov/xmMab.
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. 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. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.