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December 1, 2011 – The BLM has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the opening of the comment period for the Baker Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP). The Baker planning area consists of 428,425 acres of public lands in Baker, Malheur, Union, Wallowa, Morrow and Umatilla Counties in Oregon and in Asotin County, Washington.

Under the Draft RMP, BLM would manage motorized use in the planning area by designating areas as open for cross-country use, closed or limited to designated routes. Under BLM’s preferred alternative, areas open to cross-country use would decrease from 287,611 acres to 4,918 acres, which would leave the Virtue Flat OHV Play Area as the only area open to cross-country motorized use. Areas closed to motorized use would increase from 3,594 acres to 83,214 acres. Closed areas would include wilderness areas and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, including 4 newly proposed Areas. Areas designated as limited to designated routes would increase from 138,042 to 340,293 acres. However, specific route designations would not be made until BLM’s Baker Field Office completes a Travel Management Plan (TMP). Interim routes that would be used until the TMP’s completion would also be identified during the TMP development process. The BLM would consider the interim route network as mixed-use routes until the TMP addresses specific routes and routes uses. The Draft RMP indicates that BLM intends to complete the TMP within 5 years of this RMP’s approval. Chances for public comment on the development of the TMP will be available when that process goes underway.

Comments on the Draft RMP are due February 23, 2012. It is important that OHV enthusiasts get involved in the designation process by contacting BLM staff.

Comments may be submitted by on BLM's website http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/vale/plans/bakerrmp/contact.php
; by email: [email protected]; by fax: (541) 523–1965; or by mail:

Bureau of Land Management
Baker Field Office
P.O. Box 947
Baker City, Oregon 97814

View Full Text and Maps of Draft RMP:
http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/vale/plans/bakerrmp/draftrmp.php

For further information, please contact Allison Kuehl, RMP Team Leader, at (541) 523–1931 or Ted Davis, BLM Baker Field Manager, at (541) 523–1431 or at [email protected].
 
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