Milner Area Improvements Now On Hold


By Jay Michaels

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The results of the sequester in Washington DC keep trickling down to the local level. And that's why plans for improving the Milner Historic Recreation Area are temporarily on hold.

This winter, the Bureau of Land Management's Burley office finished its environmental assessment for the Milner Historic Recreation Area, which begins about six miles west of Burley.

It's a project that has been in the works for years. But now, even the simplest part of those plans are on hold.

Mike Courtney, Field Manager for the Burley BLM office, says, "All we were going to do this summer is some survey work. But the dollars that we had to do the survey work have succumbed to the sequester."

Due to cutbacks in federal money earlier this year, not even the proposed first step of only $18,000 worth of work won't happen this year. That's the bad news.

The good news, Mike Courtney points out, is that they won't have to worry about the cost of their building materials suddenly skyrocketing in the future.

Courtney says, “The conceptual design prescribes materials that are readily available, and that we can consistently get.”

Future improvements include a new boat ramp that's not as steep as the current one. The BLM also plans to upgrade day use sites and pave the roads in the Milner Recreation Area.

Courtney says, “Some of the key features are going to be an ADA accessible trail along the Oregon Trail. We've got some great Oregon Trail features there we hope to highlight including grooved rock from actual wagon ruts.”

The recreation area will feature a six mile trail that will parallel the historic Oregon Trail. The pathway will then return to a central parking area along the Milner Reservoir portion of the Snake River.

The BLM projects for the Milner Historic Recreation Area are on hold for right now. But whenever federal money finally becomes available again, the BLM will be able to jump back into making these much needed improvements happen.

Apr. 25, 2013.

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