The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has issued a forest supervisor's order to restrict dispersed camping in the area known as the "Gothic Corridor" from June 15 to Aug. 15, annually. This area includes lands adjacent to National Forest System Road (NFSR) #317 from the southern gate near Mt. Crested Butte to the Gunnison National Forest Boundary at Schofield Pass; and from NFSR #317 to the wilderness boundary on the west and the ridgeline on the east. Camping in the Gothic Campground will be allowed.
Additionally, the order prohibits motorized vehicle travel off designated routes in the area at any time. This restriction will be in effect year-round.
Increasingly high levels of use, motorized vehicle travel and dispersed camping within the corridor, as well as the area's proximity to Crested Butte, has resulted in natural resource impacts to soils and vegetation and increased presence of trash and human waste that necessitates additional management action. Working with local government and in response to public and community concerns, the Gunnison Ranger District enacted scoping (NEPA) to address these concerns in February and March. Over 80 comments were submitted in response to the proposal and the decision memo was issued on May 31, 2016.
An enforcement plan focused on information and education has been developed and the order and the associated map are available on the forests' website and on file at each forest office.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.