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BLM Moves Ahead With Plan B For Milner Area
Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Improvements for the Milner Historic Recreation Area are finally moving ahead now. This after some federal money "went away" earlier this year, and now the Bureau of Land Management has come up with a backup plan.
This silent stretch of desert along the Snake River west of Burley saw pioneers headed west on the Oregon Trail in the 1800s. Now campers are looking forward to swapping this rugged gravel road in the Milner Historic Recreation Area for a paved one next year.
Mike Courtney, Field Manager with the Burley BLM office, says, "The Federal Highway Administration has accepted our application through the Federal Transportation program to pave the Milner Loop. So Federal Highways will be doing that work, and they expect to get it done in 2014."
If all goes well, the local highway district will also be able to pave the gravel roads from the loop to the individual camping areas. Further improvements will build a handicap accessible trail alongside the historic Oregon Trail, which still impresses locals.
Pastor Daniel Coto of Christian Family Fellowship says, "How the people traveled in those days when they first went through that trail with the pioneers. It was very astonishing to me to see what courage and determination that people had."
Camping areas on the eastern edge of the Milner Historic Recreation Area will stay pretty much the same. But plans are under way to provide water and electrical hookups for RVs, as well as improving the rest of the campsites here.
Courtney says, "We need to appropriate funding, so we're chipping away at that, working through our process to appropriate what we can. It'll take at number of years to complete that project up at Milner. But we expect we'll get it done."
Now the project’s wheels are finally beginning to move.
The several miles of Oregon Trail wagon ruts in that recreation area are still in pretty good shape, and interpretive signs will eventually be installed along the trail.
September 6, 2013.