NOTE: The below is an extract from an "Action Center Update" provided by The Wilderness Society.
The entire notice inlcuded information about BLM planning effort in 11 western states....
Of primary interest is the information about the BLM National Travel Management website......
1) Did You Know? BLM has a New National Travel Management website
Since our last BLM Action Center Update, BLM has activated a new website entitled, "Travel Management Program" (available at:http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/Recreation/recreation_national/travel_management.html
Throughout this website, BLM admits that managing off-road vehicles is quickly becoming one of the agency's most pressing problems. BLM lists the following as threats resulting from unmanaged ORV use:
* impacts to wildlife habitat
* introduction and spread of invasive weeds
* conflicts among motorized and non-motorized recreationists
* damage to cultural resources
* expansion of roads and trails on public lands
According to the website, 258 million acres of BLM lands are currently designated in the following proportions:
* 32% "open" (allowing cross country travel -- not limited to trails)
* 48% "limited" (limited to existing or designated trails, seasonal closures, etc.)
* 4% "closed" (no ORV use -- mostly BLM Wilderness and some Wilderness Study Areas)
* 16% "undesignated" (defacto open -- mostly in Alaska)
This means that currently, a full 123 million acres of our public lands allow cross-country travel -- not restricting ORV use to existing or designated trails. As a result of resource damages due to unmanaged ORV use, BLM is beginning to move forward with comprehensive travel management planning. BLM's goal in creating this Travel Management Planning website is to notify the public that this effort is beginning and to provide a resource the public can go to for travel management related questions.