BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) —The Bureau of Land Management opened a 45-day public comment period for an environmental assessment considering updates to the Canyonlands West Travel Management Plan. T
he plan, in concert with other travel management planning efforts in the region, would help establish a comprehensive system of motorized travel routes through central Owyhee County in southwest Idaho. The plan updates are meant to address conflicts between users and natural resources, while ensuring access to BLM-managed public lands.
The BLM subdivided Owyhee County into five planning segments to analyze travel management. This plan covers approximately 677,000 acres of BLM-managed public land and analyses 1,309 miles of routes inventoried by 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 719 to 1,094 miles of motorized routes for public use.
“The BLM is trying to ensure all users have access to public lands to recreate and enjoy the outdoors, while protecting sensitive resources and ongoing uses like livestock grazing,” BLM Boise District Manager Tanya Thrift said. “Multiple use is a balancing act, and we recognize travel management planning is best accomplished with the help of our partners and the public.”
All five Owyhee County travel management plans will be made available for public comment and are expected to be completed by spring 2024. This plan analyzes a smaller section of routes west of those included in the Canyonlands East Travel Management Plan released for public comment in July. Comments must be received by Oct. 23, 2023, and can be submitted via the BLM National NEPA Register. For additional information, please contact Shannon Bassista or Bruce Schoeberl at 208-384-3300.