Wednesday, July 17, 2019
BLM Seeks Public Imput on Recreation and Access Proposal
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The rewards are great—if you can find a parking space at Greenhorn Gulch.
 
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Anyone who has tried to hike, bike, motorbike or ride horses in Greenhorn Gulch this spring no doubt knows how cars and people have been stacking up like firewood. Especially on weekends.

As outdoor enthusiasts waited for snow to melt on trails further north, so many locals and out-of-towners flocked to Greenhorn that they were double parking and lining the road beyond the parking lot.

The Bureau of Land Management has been constructing a travel plan that could possibly add more trails in the south valley, alleviating some of the congestion. But it wants imput from the public.

 
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Parking at the Greenhorn trailhead has been at a premium numerous times this spring.
 

A public meeting concerning the BLM Wood River Valley Recreation and Access Proposal will be held from noon to 2 p.m. today—Tuesday, June 18—at the Blaine County Annex in Hailey. The first hour will be a public meeting; the second, an open house.

It will be followed up by an evening meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Community Campus. The first hour will be an open house; the second, a public meeting. It’s possible that Blaine County commissioners could come up with some recommendations at the evening public meeting.

The BLM had a travel plan involving 137,000 acres of BLM land in Blaine County 90 percent complete when the Interior Department halted such work nationally in March 2019.

The area involved extends from the Sawtooth National Forest boundary in the north to U.S. Highway 20 in the south and from the Little Wood River in the east to Willow Creek in the west.

Blaine County commissioners are wondering whether there might be a way to continue on some of the proposals in that plan, said Commissioner Angenie McCleary.

BLM officials will provide an update during the public meeting and there will be an opportunity to ask the BLM questions.

“I don’t see us starting over. A tremendous amount of work has been done. We need to look at whether we might want to do some environmental assessment on some of build options,” said Codie Martin, field manager for the BLM’s Shoshone office.

Martin said the federal government is primarily concerned with projects such as closing roads that could be litigated. He’s hopeful smaller-scale plans that provide increased access could go forward.

“The federal government is still very much in favor of providing more access. We’ve gotten directives to provide more access,” he said.

Blaine County officials asked the Shoshone Field Office to design a recreational access plan for the land it maintains in the county more than a decade ago. But the process has been stalled from time to time by  such things as sage grouse litigation and, now, the federal directive.

 

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