The Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office approves transportation and access plan for public lands in Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma counties
DOLORES, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tres Rios Field Office today approved a comprehensive transportation plan that will provide improved public, commercial, and administrative access across approximately 100,000 acres of BLM-administered public land in Archuleta, La Plata and Montezuma counties in southwestern Colorado (Travel Area 1).
“The BLM recognizes that a well-conceived road and trail network and good parking access on public lands provide numerous personal and social benefits,” said Tres Rios Field Manager Connie Clementson. “This plan reflects extensive community involvement in determining how travel will be managed on area public lands and supports a shared vision for the area’s future.”
The decision designates 78 miles of roads and trails in Travel Area 1 and approves the construction of an off-highway vehicle play area, along with the construction or improvement of six parking areas. In addition, e-bikes are authorized on 25 miles of single-track trail, as well as on roads and trails approved for off-highway vehicles.
Effective travel planning in support of BLM’s multiple use mission provides for a variety of user experiences and access for natural resource development, while minimizing impacts to wildlife habitat and sensitive resources, reducing the introduction and spread of invasive weeds, and lessening potential conflicts between diverse recreation uses. In 2018, recreation activities on BLM-administered lands in Colorado supported 5,077 jobs and generated over $652 million, the highest net return of any BLM recreation program.
The groundwork for the travel plan was laid in 2015–2016 when the BLM inventoried existing transportation routes throughout the Tres Rios Field Office and then provided the results and an extensive public review and comment period in 2017, using an interactive online map. Open houses were held in Cortez, Durango, and Mancos during this period to provide information about the process and discuss external proposals received. A 30-day public scoping period ran from April through May 2019, followed by a 30-day public comment period for the Preliminary Environmental Assessment from September through October 2019. Travel planning for BLM lands in San Miguel, Dolores, and Montrose counties is currently scheduled to begin in 2021.
Additional project information, decision documents, and maps are available on the BLM ePlanning site at https://go.usa.gov/xE6ZU and at the Tres Rios Field Office, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, CO. Information on BLM travel management can be found online at https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/recreation-programs/travel-and-transportation.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.