TWIN FALLS, Idaho (News Release) – As spring swings into full gear, the BLM reminds the public of changes to off-highway recreation rules on public lands.
To protect Sage-grouse habitat, the 2015 Greater Idaho and Southwestern Montana Greater Sage-Grouse (GRSG) Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments require vehicles to stay on roads and trails when travelling on BLM-managed public lands.
Previously, some of these areas allowed off-highway vehicles (OHV) to travel cross-country. The BLM will be posting signs at key public land access locations to remind the public about these changes.
This does not affect specifically designated OHV Open Play areas like Deadman southeast of Glenns Ferry or Yahoo south of Hagerman. It also doesn’t apply to authorized uses such as emergency actions, range operations or other permitted activities.
"Unmanaged cross country travel can have numerous negative effects to resources including starting wildfires and disturbing the sagebrush steppe landscape," said Twin Falls District Manager Mike Courtney. "The Plan Amendments limit OHV use to existing roads and trails to help protect the good habitat we have left."
The next step in BLM travel management is to compile a travel management plan for site specific areas. The outcome determines which roads and trails will remain open and if any restrictions or closures are necessary to minimize impacts to natural or cultural resources or resolve OHV conflicts. “We encourage public involvement during this phase of planning to ensure the BLM understands which routes are used by the public and why they are popular,” says Courtney. Contact a BLM field office to determine when this phase of travel planning will be conducted in your area of interest.