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BLM seeks public input on Off-highway vehicle use

By Dave Wolf, Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management is currently in the midst of a national effort to improve the guidance for its Field Offices on the management of Off-Highway Vehicles. The result of this process is intended to be updated guidance, including a "tool box" of ideas and solutions, for the Field Offices. This process IS NOT a re-drafting of the current BLM ORV regulations nor is its purpose the first stage in developing new regulations. BLM feels that the regulations and procedures we have are adequate for our needs.

The goal of the strategy is to provide local managers a framework for addressing issues such as current OHV designations, executive orders, regulations, trends in management and management approaches, route inventory needs, resource issues, special management and sensitive areas and resources, monitoring, education, law enforcement, and budget.

Where we have a problem is in that we have not kept up with the increasing popularity and use of Off Highway Vehicles. Staffing and planning have not met demands. Many of our land use plans were prepared at times when, and for locations where, OHVs were not an issue. Resource conditions and impacts of more and more OHVs have changed over time but we have not kept up with the changes. We will begin an ambitious process of land use plan updating in the next year.

"We need the public's help to find ways on how to keep pace with the growing use of OHVs, while conserving our natural resources," BLM Director Tom Fry said. "We don't have all the answers, and we're hoping folks will help us develop reasonable guidance and direction. We need to focus our efforts towards on-the-ground solutions rather than tying up our scarce resources in litigation, protests, and appeals."

How can you help? BLM is holding more than 40 meetings around the country to solicit public ideas and solutions for management of OHVs. We are looking for actions that have worked in one area that we can put together into a "tool box" for all offices to use. If you can't make it to a meeting or the ones in your area have already been held, you can comment by accessing BLM's web site

Information on the OHV policy project is available from the Bureau of Land Management at 1849 C Street N.W., LSB 406-C, Washington, D.C. 20240, Attn: Comment Manager. The text of the policy discussion and other information is available on the BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/ohv/ohvstrategy.htm


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