Send Comments to BLM for mass Grand Valley Land Closures

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by COXR650L, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    I know this has been posted a few times, but if people could email the GJ BLM field office with comments about the travel management plan that would close the majority of riding around Grand Junction. Comments are due by the 25th. Email BLM at:

    gjfo_rmp@blm.gov

    Please take 2min to send an email (or another email if you have sent one already). I grew up in GJ and go back often and this would be a huge blow for the OHV community.

    Copy of the recent COHVCO email for more info:
    We need your help in fighting massive closures proposed in the Grand Junction BLM RMP!

    The Grand Junction Field Office (GJFO) of the BLM located in Grand Junction, CO has released a proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the office that slaughters motorized access in the office. The Plan is exceptionally long but fails to explain the high levels of closures or why particular routes are being closed. The RMP proposes to:
    Reduce cross-country travel from 445,400 acres to 0 acres;
    Close between 60-70% of existing routes in areas where motorized use is permitted (translates to over 2,000 miles of lost routes); and
    Increase areas where motorized use is prohibited from 35,300 acres to 187,500 acres in the preferred alternative and possibly 379,500 acres.

    Our concerns are:

    1. Levels of closures are completely inappropriate and lack a rational basis and will hugely impact all recreational usage of the Grand Junction area. Economic impact is the primary method for balancing recreational usage of public lands with other uses of the of the same areas. Despite a plan that is thousands of pages in length, no meaningful analysis of economic is provided other than identifying it as a priority issue. This proposal would look significantly different is accurate economic impact data on recreation was used for the balancing of multiple uses. Any personal information yu can provide on amounts spent on recreation would be highly valuable!

    The Plan concludes total recreational spending will be $7.2 million in the field office by 2029.
    Colorado Parks and Wildlife concluded hunting and fishing in the GJFO planning area results in over $131 million in annual spending;
    Colorado Department of Tourism recently concluded that travel to Garfield and Mesa Counties resulted in over $384 million in spending in 2011; and
    The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition has concluded that over $141 million is spent in the GJFO planning area on OHV recreation.

    2. The Plan concludes that the average recreational user spends $10.16 per day. This is simply inaccurate. The USFS NVUM research and analysis concludes that the daily recreational spending total in Region 2 is $61.92 per day. Basic consistency of BLM analysis,and USFS NVUM research is mandated by the BLM national office and two executive orders. Many users, such as the motorized community, spend 2-3 times this amount per day. The NVUM conclusions are supported by a wide range of regional, state and user group analysis. Only the BLM analysis is inconsistent.

    3. Employment in recreation is tragically underestimated. The GJFO RMP asserts 90 jobs as a result of recreation on the GJFO planning area, which is entirely inconsistent with research from federal, state and local government research in addition to user group research. This research concluded:
    COHVCO - 2,147 persons are employed in motorized recreation in the GJFO area;
    CPW - 1,392 persons are employed in Garfield and Mesa County areas in positions that are directly related to hunting and fishing activities;
    Colorado Tourism - 4,310 persons are employed in tourism and travel in the GJFO area;
    Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce identifies Cabela's in Grand Junction as an employer of over 200 people; and
    Numerous motorcycle and OHV shops in the Grand Junction area and the Field Office itself individually employ 50 people all year long.

    4. The RMP provides extensive analysis of many social factors for Mesa County but similar analysis is not provided for Garfield County and at no point are the possible impacts from changes in economic contributions related to these social factors despite obvious relationships of some factors such as spending and employment or tax revenue.

    5. High levels of closures will impact all forms of recreation on the GJFO as motorized access is a key component of many recreational activities, even if it is not the primary activity.

    6. User conflicts cannot be addressed with closures alone - education is the primary tool to deal with conflicts and closures will make conflicts worse.

    7. There is simply no demand for additional Wilderness characteristics areas. These designations impair forest and water health as the areas can no longer be managed.

    The Executive Summary of COHVCO's comments can be read here.

    Comment Deadline: On or before June 25, 2013

    Who to send your comments to:
    Mail to: Electronically send to:
    BLM-GJFO RMP gjfo_rmp@blm.gov
    2815 H Road
    Grand Junction, CO 81506
    #1
  2. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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  3. Lovin' it Strom

    Lovin' it Strom High functioning sociopath

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  4. Z_HARSH

    Z_HARSH Like margarine?

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    This is what I sent, the first part might not apply, but a personal touch might help, cut and past if you want:



    My family and I have been enjoying the OHV motorcycle riding around Grand Junction my entire life. My sister and I are grown and married now and my sister and her husband, my parents and me and my wife make the trek out at least twice a year from Denver but usually 4 times a year or more if we can. We go with a group of 20-30 other families. It is so great to be able to recreate in our beautiful land with family and friends, I just pray my kids will be able to in the future.

    Each time we are out there, we all get gas in GJ or Fruta and spend about $100 there. We often stay in one of the hotels so there is another $125. We also eat out at the restaurants for breakfast and dinner, another $40 per day. We grab a drink or two, and go to the grocery store sometimes too. The $10/day estimate is not even in the right ballpark. Honestly, $150 is probably closer. And there are a lot of us; there are always off-road vehicles in the parking lots of the hotels in the spring and fall in the area.

    There would be an enormous impact to the economy in the GJ area if we stopped coming because the trails were closed. There is plenty of good riding still in Utah and it is not much further, but it would be an absolute tragedy if we lost Grand Junction.

    Here are some concerns with the new plan:

    1. Levels of closures are completely inappropriate and lack a rational basis and will hugely impact all recreational usage of the Grand Junction area. Economic impact is the primary method for balancing recreational usage of public lands with other uses of the of the same areas. Despite a plan that is thousands of pages in length, no meaningful analysis of economic is provided other than identifying it as a priority issue.

    The Plan concludes total recreational spending will be $7.2 million in the field office by 2029.
    Colorado Parks and Wildlife concluded hunting and fishing in the GJFO planning area results in over $131 million in annual spending;
    Colorado Department of Tourism recently concluded that travel to Garfield and Mesa Counties resulted in over $384 million in spending in 2011; and
    The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition has concluded that over $141 million is spent in the GJFO planning area on OHV recreation.

    2. The Plan concludes that the average recreational user spends $10.16 per day. This is simply inaccurate. The USFS NVUM research and analysis concludes that the daily recreational spending total in Region 2 is $61.92 per day. Basic consistency of BLM analysis,and USFS NVUM research is mandated by the BLM national office and two executive orders. Many users, such as the motorized community, spend 2-3 times this amount per day. The NVUM conclusions are supported by a wide range of regional, state and user group analysis. Only the BLM analysis is inconsistent.

    3. Employment in recreation is tragically underestimated. The GJFO RMP asserts 90 jobs as a result of recreation on the GJFO planning area, which is entirely inconsistent with research from federal, state and local government research in addition to user group research. This research concluded:
    COHVCO - 2,147 persons are employed in motorized recreation in the GJFO area;
    CPW - 1,392 persons are employed in Garfield and Mesa County areas in positions that are directly related to hunting and fishing activities;
    Colorado Tourism - 4,310 persons are employed in tourism and travel in the GJFO area;
    Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce identifies Cabela's in Grand Junction as an employer of over 200 people; and
    Numerous motorcycle and OHV shops in the Grand Junction area and the Field Office itself individually employ 50 people all year long.

    4. The RMP provides extensive analysis of many social factors for Mesa County but similar analysis is not provided for Garfield County and at no point are the possible impacts from changes in economic contributions related to these social factors despite obvious relationships of some factors such as spending and employment or tax revenue.

    5. High levels of closures will impact all forms of recreation on the GJFO as motorized access is a key component of many recreational activities, even if it is not the primary activity.

    6. User conflicts cannot be addressed with closures alone - education is the primary tool to deal with conflicts and closures will make conflicts worse.

    7. There is simply no demand for additional Wilderness characteristics areas. These designations impair forest and water health as the areas can no longer be managed.
    #4
  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

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  6. Greg@RME

    Greg@RME Mis-Adventurer

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    Something VERY important about comments... BE SPECIFIC! Reference the trail numbers (I cannot stress how important this is), tell them how you use the land, why you believe they are mistaken for wanting to close a specific trail/area, etc. Telling the BLM that you like Plan A or B is like NOT SUBMITTING A COMMENT!! They will throw out those comments. You need to explain yourself, defend your 'why', express your opinion and be detailed about it!

    One thing the BLM doesn't seem to understand, is that multiple user groups CAN play nice together. They're trying to shut down 4x4 trails and turn them into OHV trails, turn motorcycle singletrack into mountain biking trails, etc, thinking that we cannot all play nice together. There is so much to this, it's very overwhelming and the comment period isn't very long. We need to approach this the right way, be polite, be specific (use trail numbers), ask for bigger 'open travel' OHV areas, etc, etc.

    They are getting a lot of resistance, Plan B is their 'preferred alternative', but they are listening to the public and willing to change parts of it.



    The BLM has presented 4 management plans, which are available on their website. Here's my take on them...


    Plan A - Leave things as they are. (The reality is that this will NEVER pass. They HAVE to change the way their managing the land and 'A' is put out there as a comparison to the other options and nothing else.

    Plan B - The Preferred Alternative. This is the most OHV friendly plan and CAN BE ALTERED, if you give them a excellent reason why.

    Plan C - The less OHV friendly, much more conservative. Massive closures to all OHV trails, energy exploration, grazing, etc. Call it the 'Greenie' plan... it's not pretty.

    Plan D - Geared towards energy development, not good for OHV access.


    Link to the RMP and all the maps... - http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo/rmp/rmp.html
    #6
  7. Pariahtize

    Pariahtize Miscategorized

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  8. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    Thanks guys lets keep it up. BLM :dizave
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  9. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    This is a very obvious bad closure and I let them know by email. If I were in GJ, I would stop by the office and talk personally with the managers. And I encourage anybody who has the time to do exactly that, as well as let the GJ congress staff know about our concerns.
    #9
  10. COXR650L

    COXR650L Long timer

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    +1 Im am going to call directly today
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