We’ve all come together to rally for land closures before, and I’m hoping this time will be no different. After more than a year, the BLM Lake Havasu Field office is finalizing their Travel Management Plan for the Bouse and Cactus Plain area. The Cactus Plain area includes a portion of La Paz and Mohave Counties in Arizona. These areas have thousands of miles of amazing off roading, including some great rock crawling, deer and bird hunting, bird watching, etc.
Maps of proposed closures were just released to the public at public meetings held yesterday and the day before. Notice of these public meetings was given, but finding this public notice was about as easy as herding cats. The meetings and the comment period (that lasts another two weeks) also happens to conveniently be timed when it is 110-120 degrees here. The last thing anyone does in the Parker/Havasu area this time of year is go off-roading. In addition, a very large portion of the OHV enthusiast around here are winter visitors. They are all back home in the cooler states right now.
I can’t say that the BLM purposely chose this time of year to hold the meetings and comment period because it is the path of last resistance, but it sure is awfully convenient. Not only are those people not here to have a voice, but those of us that are here are not able to go out in the current weather if we wanted to personally inspect any of the trails that may possibly be closed. My buggy doesn’t do 115 degree weather, and even if it did I wouldn’t last more than a few hours in the desert before risking heat stroke if I were to become stranded.
What I am hoping for is that the BLM will extend the public comment period until November when the majority of the OHV enthusiast are back in the area to be able to comment. I’m asking that the good folks of pirate take a few minutes out of their day to submit a comment to the BLM asking that the public comment period be extended until the winter visitors are back in town and the temperatures are low enough to be able to safely go out in the desert any visit some of the proposed closures. I believe that 1,000 comments in the next two weeks would be enough to get the comment period extended.
The BLM is using a new website format for making public comments that they claim will make it much easier for the public to comment. Some aspects of it are great, others are not. I am fairly computer savvy and I found it hard to make a general comment. Commenting on specific trails are not too hard, but non-tech friendly people may have a tough time with it. If you can’t easily figure out how to make a comment, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t send your comment in an email form to the Outdoor Recreation Planner assigned to this project. In addition, comments on BLM AZ’s social media sites couldn’t hurt.
Thank you so much for your help.
Here are a few links to help you find your way:
Map and Comment website- https://eplanning.blm.gov/EPLComment...5a35a3b2133e65
email for comments- [email protected]
Outdoor Recreation Planner’s email- [email protected]
BLM AZ’s facebook- https://www.facebook.com/BLMArizona
BLM AZ’s twitter- https://twitter.com/BLMArizona
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s twitter: https://twitter.com/SecretaryZinke