BRC action alert: Colorado OHV Trails, ACTION NEEDED
Please take action TODAY. Also, be advised that comments that are nothing more than auto-generated get counted as ONE comment, even if they are THOUSANDS. So be sure to put personal perspective and values in the comments, and concentrate on the environmentally-responsible design of the proposed trails and roads. Also, be sure to note that creating these routes will reduce impact on other areas in a burgeoning (that means growing rapidly) recreational activity!
From the Blue Ribbon Coalition:
Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,
The anti-access crowd in Colorado is making a major push to stop the designation of 100 miles of OHV routes near Grand Junction, Colorado. Western Colorado needs our help!
If you don't need to know all of the details, and just want to know what we need you to do; click here: http://capwiz.com/share/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8138756
If you want to understand why this issue is important, and how to make your input more effective, please take a minute to read the info below.
The comment deadline is October 24th, so please take action today!
Thank you for your help,
Public Lands Director
PS. If you believe there aren't enough single-track trails on BLM lands, this is your opportunity to support the development of single-track, off-highway motorcycle and mountain bike trails. Please take action!
PPS: Those of you in the full sized 4x4 camp (you know who you are!), this area is home to the Billings Canyon Jeep Trail! Let's help make this area a premier OHV trail system!
The Grand Junction Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its plan for management of Bangs Canyon for public review and comment. The preferred alternative designates just over 100 miles of OHV trails.
The Bangs Canyon area is located near the City of Grand Junction and includes the very popular Billings Canyon Jeep Trail, as well as several delightful ATV loops that are perfect for family outings. It is a popular recreation area for local residents and visitors alike.
The plan does something else too.
Many years ago, the BLM made several important promises to the OHV community in exchange for closing many thousands of acres to vehicle use. The BLM promised that a route from Little Park road to HWY 141 would be designated. The BLM pledged they would develop a trail system for mountain bikes, ATV's and even single track motorcycle trails. They also said they would develop hiking and equestrian trails close to Grand Junction. They promised all of this in their Resource Management Plan way back in 1987.
To show good faith, the OHV community helped secure a grant for the development of the Bangs Canyon Trail Head parking lot. The parking lot was constructed many years ago, in advance of the trail designations.
What the Bangs Canyon implementation plan does:
Finally, and to their credit, the BLM is getting around to fulfilling their promises. They are now implementing their management plan, and truth be told, the BLM has formulated a quality alternative. It provides several epic mountain bike trails, challenge 4x4 routes, ATV and dirt bike trails as well as many hiking and equestrian trails. It also closes several motorized routes that are unsustainable and protects quality big game habitat.
You would think the so-called "environmental groups" would appreciate the BLM's efforts to properly manage recreational use, wouldn't you?
Think again friends!
The anti-recreation agenda is in full force. Colorado's anti-access crowd has thrown down the gauntlet on the Bangs Canyon management plan in a big way. These anti-recreation zealots are mounting a major effort to remove all of the promises BLM made to the OHV community out of the plan, and to push the BLM to manage most of the Bangs Canyon area as de-facto Wilderness!
I must tell you that the manner in which the anti-access crowd is conducting their campaign against the Bangs Canyon plan is concerning. These groups are very well funded, their tactics are sophisticated and their paid staff is motivated.
Why are the anti's so motivated to stop this plan?
The reason these anti-recreation zealots oppose management plans, even when they are environmentally sound, is anyone's guess.
However& the reason they are spending so much effort on the Bangs Canyon plan isn't a secret to anyone!
Remember when then Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt attempted to nearly double the amount of Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) on BLM lands throughout the West? Well, this widely discredited effort is still alive and well in Colorado where Wilderness zealots are trying to force the BLM to manage these new areas as de-facto Wilderness.
Part of the planning area is an area that has been "re-inventoried" for "Wilderness Character." Naturally, the anti-access crowd wants this are managed as if it were Wilderness.
This is nothing more than a last-gasp effort to lend credibility to this Babbitt era initiative. Learn more about this from BRC's website at: http://www.sharetrails.org/index.cfm?page=42&magazine=27 click on "The Little Handbook that Could"
What you need to do:
Send a comment letter today!
Remember -- The comment deadline is October 24, 2005!
Snail Mail letters are ok, but given the close comment deadline BRC recommends you email your comment letter.
DO: Use our comment suggestions below:
DO NOT: Forget to include your name and address. Anonymous comment letters are often discarded and not considered.
Snail Mail: Britta Laub, BLM, Grand Junction Field Office, 2815 H Road Grand Junction, CO 81506,
1) Thank the BLM for finally implementing their management plan!
2) Tell the BLM that you oppose Wilderness designation for Bangs Canyon. Explain that you support a Backcountry designation that allows mountain bikes and OHV use.
3) Remind the BLM that their "Preliminary Wilderness Character Inventory Evaluation" was done without any public involvement, or without any chance for the public to offer supplemental information about non-Wilderness uses.
4) Thank the BLM for supporting the route from Little Park Road to Hwy. 141. Tell them this is a needed connector route and will provide an excellent recreational opportunity and access for hunting and other recreational uses. Please include access for ATV's and full sized vehicles.
5) Tell the BLM that the Corduroy Springs road should be open for motorized use.
6) The Bangs Canyon planning area is an important urban interface area. The Grand Junction area has a very large percentage of the population who prefer OHV recreation. This needs to be provided for via managed trail systems. Your plan in Alternative 1 goes a long way toward achieving that goal.
7) Consider designating more trails for ATV's. ATV use is very popular and the local ATV club is very active. This growing user group needs to be provided for.
Heb Dduw, heb ddim; Duw a digon
I'm that gun-totin', farm-raised, evangelical, pro-environment, OHV ridin'/drivin', Southern civil rights pro-labor Liberal yo' momma told you couldn't possibly exist.