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BLM completes Wolford Mountain Travel Management Plan (CO)


 
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: BLM completes Wolford Mountain Travel Management Plan (CO) Reply with quote

KREMMLING, CO - The Bureau of Land Management’s Kremmling Field Office announced the completion of the Wolford Mountain Travel Management Plan, which involves 33,152 acres of public land a few miles north of Kremmling, Colorado.

The plan designates routes for both Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) motorized and non-motorized uses in the Wolford Mountain area -- while protecting the area’s natural and cultural resources. The project received extensive input from the Friends of Wolford Mountain, Rocky Mountain Recreation Initiative group, motorized users, permittees, landowners, and State and local agencies. The largest stakeholders include the environmental community and the motorized users.

The Wolford Mountain area provides vital habitat for the greater sage grouse and is a critical winter range for elk, antelope and deer. It also serves the interests of a variety of recreation enthusiasts who enjoy camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, hunting, off-roading and other recreational activities.

A 1984 Resource Management Plan referred to the project area as a “Resource Conservation Area” and listed it as a location where OHVs were to be limited to designated roads and trails. An “OHV Implementation Plan” was developed in 1988; however, existing roads and trails were not inventoried at that time, and designations were deferred until an inventory could be completed.

An inventory was begun in 2001, when the level of increased motorized use and its associated impacts warranted an inventory, assessment and route designations. A site-specific environmental assessment of the area was completed in 2004. “The final plan designates motorized and non-motorized uses in the Wolford Mountain area,” said Kremmling Field Manager John Ruhs. “Yet, it manages to conserve the area’s natural resources and other uses.”

The Wolford Mountain Travel Management Plan reduces the miles of OHV motorized routes from 231 to 167. It eliminates cross-country motorized travel and designates the use of the 167 miles of roads and trails as follows (figures are approximations):

*105 miles of routes are designated open-limited for summer motorized use. Of this total, about three miles are closed in the spring to protect Greater sage-grouse during the critical breeding period.

*16 miles are designated for ATV use during the summer use period.

*17 miles are designated for motorcycle use. Of this total approximately two miles are limited to seasonal motorcycle use from June 1 to September 15, to protect nesting raptors during the spring and provide ‘quiet use’ times during the spring and fall on the slopes and summit of Wolford Mountain.

*29 miles are designated for administrative motorized use.

The Decision also provides for a variety of non-motorized use, such as:

*Unrestricted jogging and hiking throughout the entire project area, with one mile of trail designated for jogging or hiking use only.

*Unrestricted horseback riding use throughout the project area, except for a 200 acre Area of Critical Environmental Concern (Cretaceous Ammonite Site).

*Approximately 69 miles of routes closed to motorized travel are available for horseback riding, hiking, and jogging.

*Roughly two miles of scenic trail on the slopes and summit of Wolford Mountain are available for hiking, jogging, mountain bike and horseback riding use.

*All 167 miles of designated motorized routes are available for non-motorized use.

“The Wolford Mountain Travel Management Plan involves a manageable mix of motorized and non-motorized uses in the project area,” noted Ruhs. “Together with incorporated mitigations, implementation and monitoring, the plan addresses the concerns and issues raised by individuals and groups during extensive outreach, public workshops, and scoping periods.”
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