The San Juan National Forest has issued a Proposed Action for the Rico-West Delores road and trail system in southwest Colorado. The Rico-West Delores area includes Forest lands on either side of Highway 145 from north of Dolores, Colorado to Lizardhead pass and includes Lone Cone, Fish Creek, Dunton Road, Bear Creek, Ryman Creek, and Lizardhead areas in Delores and Montezuma Counties. This Proposed Action is a starting point for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, and the Forest is seeking public comment on this proposal.
This planning area originally had a final travel management decision in 2009. The decision was appealed from both the motorized and non-motorized sides and the original decision was thrown out. In 2011, environmentalists sued the Forest Service to close 14 of the key trails in the area to motorized use. However, the federal judge ruled against the environmentalists in 2013. Thus, the San Juan National Forest has published this Proposed Action as the first step to establishing a new travel management plan for the area. According to the New Mexico OHV Alliance, while the new plan contains improvements over the original 2009 plan, the current proposal still severely impacts the current access enjoyed by OHV enthusiasts, including long seasonal closures limiting use to 9 weeks each summer (July 1 to September 8th). The proposal, while adding some new trails and connectors, would also close some prime trails with a long history of motorcycle enjoyment. Comments & Public Meeting
Comments on the Proposed Action will be accepted until January 30, 2015.
It is important that OHV enthusiasts get involved in the designation process by contacting Forest staff. Send commentsonline
; by email: email@example.com
; or by mail: Derek Padilla, District Ranger, Dolores Ranger District, 29211 Highway 184, Dolores, CO 81323.
A public meeting will be held on January 15, 2015
from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dolores Community Center located at 400 Riverside Avenue, Dolores, CO 81323.