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BLM to update travel management plan in Owyhee County

Off-highway vehicle users on BLM-managed public lands in Owyhee County, Idaho.
Off-highway vehicle users on BLM-managed public lands in Owyhee County, Idaho.

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) — The Bureau of Land Management today opened a 45-day comment period for an environmental assessment considering updates to the Canyonlands East Travel Management Plan to establish a comprehensive system of motorized travel routes through central Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho. The planned updates are meant to address conflicts between users and natural resources while ensuring access to BLM-managed public lands.  

The plan covers approximately 1,036 square miles and analyses 1,493 miles of routes inventoried by the BLM with contributions from motorized user groups, Tribes, state and federal agencies, and stakeholder groups. The range of action alternatives being considered would designate between 581 to 1,224 miles of motorized routes for public use.  

“This travel management planning effort is an example of working with our partners and the public to promote multiple-use activities on public lands by ensuring access for traditional land uses, such as grazing, and for recreational activities, while being mindful of areas with resource concerns,” BLM Boise District Manager Tanya Thrift said.  

The BLM is required by Congress to manage public lands for a variety of uses such as livestock grazing, recreation and mining, while ensuring natural, cultural and historic resources are maintained for present and future use. A Travel Management Plan includes an analysis process to designate routes that will ensure public land access for these varied uses, while also:  

  • providing areas with motorized and non-motorized recreation activities,  
  • preventing soil and vegetation damage resulting from the proliferation of routes, and  
  • reducing conflicts between various recreation users.  

Public comments on these proposed route systems will be accepted through August 25, 2023, and can be submitted via the BLM National NEPA Register. The purpose of this comment period is to provide relevant information to the BLM about the proposed alternatives.  

This plan is one of five travel management plans that will cover BLM-managed public lands in Owyhee County. All plans will be made available for public comment and are expected to be completed by spring 2024.  

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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