Author Topic: Notice of Temporary Closure of Public Lands in Mesa County, Colorado  (Read 1241 times)

Offline Peter Vahry

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AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of temporary closure.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that a temporary closure is in effect
on public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM),
Grand Junction Field Office, Grand Junction, Colorado.

DATES: This temporary closure will be in effect from 12:01 a.m.
(Mountain Time) on January 29, 2014 until 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time) on
January 29, 2015 or until the Authorized Officer determines adequate
rehabilitation has occurred, whichever comes first.

ADDRESSES: The Grand Junction Field Office address is 2815 H Road,
Grand Junction, CO 81506.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathryn Stevens, Grand Junction Field
Office Manager, at the above address or by phone at 970-244-3000.
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call
the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 800-877-8339 to contact
the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or
question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during
normal business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This temporary closure affects public lands
burned in the Pine Ridge Fire northeast of Grand Junction in Mesa
County, Colorado
. The BLM originally issued a one-year temporary
closure following the fire. This closure ended on July 12, 2013. A
second temporary closure is required for plants to establish to
stabilize soil. The public lands within the temporary closure are
administered by the BLM Grand Junction Field Office. The northern
boundary of the temporary closure is located at Route 7729A; the
western boundary of the temporary closure is located approximately
eight miles west of De Beque, Colorado; the eastern boundary of the
temporary closure is located at United States Interstate 70 and the
Colorado River; and the southern boundary of the temporary closure is
located at Cottonwood Creek. The legal description of the affected
lands is:

Colorado, Sixth Principal Meridian

T. 9 S., R. 97 W., Sections 18, 19, and 30;
T. 9 S., R. 98 W., Sections 13 to 36, inclusive;
T. 10 S., R. 98 W., Sections 1 to 3, inclusive;
T. 9 S., R. 99 W., Sections 25 and 36.

    The temporary closure encompasses all public lands within the
13,920 acres burned by the fire. This temporary closure is necessary
due to the potential for erosion and sedimentation in the Colorado
River that could result from travel on the burned area. The fire
destroyed much of the natural vegetation that held soils in place. A
temporary closure of public land to motorized and mechanized vehicles
within the burned area is necessary to stabilize soils, prevent erosion
and protect public health and safety. An annual mix was seeded shortly
after the burn to stabilize the soil. The annual seeding had very poor
germination and did not successfully stabilize the soil. The burned
area was seeded again with native perennials once there was snow cover
on the ground. The second seeding had a much higher success rate, but
the plant species need more time to establish before public use is
allowed. Public use of the burned area will hamper these efforts and
delay rehabilitation.
    The BLM will post closure signs at main entry points to the
temporary closure area. The closure notice will be posted in the Grand
Junction Field Office along with maps of the affected area and other
documents associated with this closure including the Environmental
Assessment for the Pine Ridge Fire (DOI-BLM-CO-130-2012-0048-EA). Under
the authority of Section 303(a) of the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1733(a)), 43 CFR 8360.0-7 and 43 CFR
8364.1, the BLM will enforce the following rule on public land affected
by the Pine Ridge Fire described as follows: You must not enter the
Pine Ridge Fire Temporary Closure Area by any means of motorized or
mechanized transportation.
    The following persons are exempt from this order: Federal, state
and local officers and employees in the performance of their official
duties; members of organized rescue or firefighting forces in the
performance of their official duties; and persons with written
authorization from the BLM.
    Any person who violates the above rule(s) and/or restriction(s) may
be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined no more than
$1,000, imprisoned for no more than 12 months, or both. Such violations
may also be subject to the enhanced fines provided for by 18 U.S.C.

John Mehlhoff,
BLM Colorado Acting State Director.
[FR Doc. 2014-01753 Filed 1-28-14; 8:45 am]
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