GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management is preparing to finalize rules for recreation and use of the Bangs Canyon and North Fruita Desert recreation areas. The public now has one more opportunity to review and comment on the rules, which visitors have been encouraged to follow for several years.These rules implement decisions that were developed by the BLM Grand Junction Field Office in 2006. The rules were developed with a great deal of public input, and are aimed at protecting the public’s health and safety and preventing resource damage in the area. Examples of the new rules include identifying day use areas, and specifying that fire pans and human waste disposal are required in camping areas. They also identify areas in which target shooting is allowed, and require visitors to pick up after their dogs.
The Grand Junction Field Office is finalizing rules for three areas this summer. Rules for the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area have already been released for final review.
“This final step ensures that we can provide the experiences and environment outlined in the management plans for these areas – plans the public helped us create,” said Grand Junction Field Manager Catherine Robertson. “The average user will not see any changes in the way we manage these areas. These are the same messages we've been communicating since the management plans were approved. They are already posted on our signs. In the past, they have been recommendations. In the future, they will be regulations.”
Public comments for Bangs Canyon will be accepted through September 21, 2009. The rules can be viewed online at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-17591.pdf.
Public comments for North Fruita Desert will be accepted through October 5, 2009. Rules can be viewed online at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-18723.pdf.
Rules for both areas can also be accessed at the Grand Junction Field Office at 2815 H Road in Grand Junction, CO 81506.
The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.