The Dominguez-Escalante Advisory Council (AC) will meet to discuss recreation and travel management in the NCA Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) Wednesday, April 21, at Bill Heddles Recreation Center.
An advisory council session on the same topics held in Grand Junction Aug. 19 brought the conflicting demands of NCA and wilderness user groups to light.
Among the issues aired were:
• A proposal to close down travel seasonally in areas used for grazing during grazing;
• Other seasonal travel restrictions;
• Numerous travel route closures proposed by the BLM in its draft RMP;
• Proposed restrictions on target shooting on public lands within the NCA and wilderness;
• Conflict between motorized uses and "quiet use" demands of the area known as Nine Mile Hill;
• Segregation of uses in the crowded, multi-use area at the mouth of Dominguez Canyon;
• Limitations on dates for motorized uses on the Gunnison River;
• Elimination or expansion of ATV routes, particularly in the popular Cactus Park area in the north NCA;
• Closure versus loop routing of current "dead end" travel routes;
• Resolving conflicts between recreation uses and the grazing uses that have been in place there for 130 years.
The importance of continued grazing uses on the public lands has been noted by advisory council member Doug Atchley who represents the Delta County Commissioners on the 10-member panel. Although grazing uses are protected in the Dominguez-Escalante enabling legislation, concerns about its future management by government remain.
For example, at Monday's meeting in Grand Junction, BLM grazing permittee and advisory council member Oscar Massey noted the economic importance of the cattle that feed on public land forage in the NCA and wilderness. Five families earn their living with the Massey Ranches permits that produce "a significant amount of value" to the local economy, he said. But at that point in the meeting, and at another one also, advisory council chair Katie Steele of Grand Junction dismissed the topic saying, "The council has had that discussion."
Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, a former resident of the Cedaredge area, pointed out that guarantees of continued grazing uses are part of not only Public Law 111-11, but also of the Wilderness Act.blog comments powered by Disqus