Dear Trail Enthusiasts,

As many of you know, the Oregon BLM office has released a draft of its latest management plan for all of the lands it oversees in Western Oregon.  This covers the waterfront such as how they will manage your public forests or provide recreation. This plan, once finalized, will cast the fate of BLM lands for years to come, so weighing in by July 23rd with your comments is extremely important.

On the recreation front there are definitely improvement from past management plans.  Some tough issues are starting to be addressed.   The good news is that the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, the proposed Jack-Ash Trail and the proposed Applegate Ridge Trail are recognized as recreational assets to be managed – at least in some of the various management options presented.

The entire plan is four volumes and rather daunting to look at.  But there are great summaries available from BLM, KS Wild and other sources.

For starters I encourage you to come to one of the public workshops specifically on recreation.  It is being held

June 18th from 6-9 PM

at the Grants Pass High School

at 830 NE 9th St in Grants Pass.

While other recreation workshops will be held around the state, I believe this is the only one for our area.  It is extremely important for BLM to hear from you –  the owner of these public lands –  about your concerns for how these lands will be managed in the future.

If the provision of trails is important to you let them know.  If you would like to see target practice restricted to designated areas, let them know.  If off-highway vehicle activity is an issue you care about, they should hear about it. This plan represents a shift in the approach for recreation from the current plan in that it recognizes the need to manage both OHV use and non-motorized recreation.  A Travel Management plan is proposed to be completed within five years.  This will theoretically detail exactly what OHV and non-motorized trails are allowed, need to be altered and so forth.  But the over-arching guidance for recreation and which lands are managed actively for recreation or not is one part of what the draft RMP (Resource Management Plan) addresses.  So your views are very important.   There are inter-active maps on BLM’s website you can open up and see how the recreation plans under each option will work.  They are quite interesting and there is lots of details associated with each feature shown on the map

There will also be a workshop on the forest and wildlife management proposals on:

June 17th in Medford

from 4-7 PM

 at the Ramada Medford Hotel

at 2250 Biddle Rd. 

Obviously it is forest management that is the crux of the entire plan and will shape the forests we recreate in in the future.  So, if the management of your public lands are important to you…you might want to take some time and voice your views.

For details on the proposed RMP and copies of it – CLICK HERE

For details on all the workshops here is the link:   – CLICK HERE

For interactive maps on recreation, forestry and more:  http://www.blm.gov/or/plans/rmpswesternoregon/interactivemap.php  Click on a location you are interested in on the map on this page and it will open up a map and you can then select this aspect you are interested in such as recreation.  If you mess around some all sorts of management information pops up when you click on a specific name such as Anderson Butte.  Warning – there are a bunch of data errors on these maps so don’t be surprised when you see trail lengths that are wildly inaccurate.  Something happened in their mapping which will be addressed.  But the management information is correct.   

Sorry for the long email but this is a very important issue for our region.  Thank you so much for participating and voicing your thoughts about the proposed resource management plan.

Hope Robertson

SUTA

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