Inventory Work Begins on BLM Land
On September 13th, 2005 Richard Durnan and Julie Stotler, the BLM Recreation Planner, met at the trails site and began a comprehensive inventory of the existing trail resources by GPS-ing the existing roads and trails.
Below is an outline and rough time-line to give you an idea of the steps that must be followed next to make this project a success. Notes in Blue are things that you as a volunteer can help with at the appropriate time.
Jeff Riddle Retires from Ridgway State Park
Jeff Riddle the Ridgway State Park Manager and our contact for the trails project announced his retirement from the state parks. ” I’ll be leaving Ridgway State Park sometime early next year”
Jeff has been strongly supporting our project and states that it “will certainly be on my list of things to review with the new manager.”
Outline for the BLM Lands portion of the project
1. Finish the Lands Inventory (Now through 12/1/2005*)
- Map out all existing roads and trails with a GPS to allow the data to be entered into the BLM’s mapping system.
- Map out areas of disturbance such as game trails and other areas that may be used as part of the trail system in the future.
- Notify Rich Durnan of trails within the area you think should be included in the inventory.
- Join Rich in the field and help finish GPS-ing for the inventory.
2. Analysis of Inventory (Winter 2005/Spring 2006*)
- Enter GPS data from the inventory into the BLM’s mapping system
- Internal Scoping with the BLM and External Scoping with other agencies Identify area soil types
- Identify area vegetation
- Identify any there are any threatened and endangered species present
- Identify cultural resources
- Identify seasonal closures (* see clarification below)
- Identify any special wildlife issues
- Determine ideal trail slope percentage for area
- Perform a real estate check
- Design and layout trail system including facility development (The Plan or Desired Outcome)
A public meeting will be set up during this period. This will be your time to express your opinions and ideas about all aspects of the trail systems development.
3. Environmental Assessment (EA) (Fall/Winter 2006*)
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assures that the BLM (and other federal agencies) will consider the impact of an action on the human environment before decisions are made and the action is taken. It requires that NEPA documents concentrate on issues that are significant to the action in question.
The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make better decisions based on an understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the human environment.
In accordance with the NEPA Process, BLM conducts an interdisciplinary review of the environmental effects of the proposal so that the relevant environmental information is available to citizens and public officials.
An EA is prepared to determine if a proposed action or alternative will significantly affect the quality of the human environment. If the impacts are determined to be insignificant, a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is prepared and is made a part of the decision. If impacts are determined to be significant, the proposed action may be rejected, modified, or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) may be prepared. Public involvement activities for an EA range from notifying those directly affected by the proposed action to providing review drafts for public comment and conducting workshops and meetings.
4. On the Ground Work (Summer 2007*)
Now the fun begins and we will need all your help with jobs like trail building, and grant writing.
5. Other things you can do to help
A strong show of support for this project will help us in all areas of the project. Letters of support for the project will be critical to show all the agencies involved our communal interest and commitment to this project. At some point we will begin seeking grant money and letters from you will help to achieve success in finding funding. Please take a moment to write a letter of support for this project and encourage all those you know to do the same. It will save us time and speed up the process if we have these letters on hand.
Send your letter to Richard Durnan at PO Box 2065, Ridgway CO, 81432-2065 or e-mail it to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*All dates are approximations and are in no way a guarantee by the BLM staff that they will be completed in the above timeframe however the BLM does support the project and plan to see it through to the end.