Author Topic: Florence closures  (Read 1892 times)

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Florence closures
« on: April 09, 2009, 07:43:44 AM »
March 10, 2009

BLM Proposes Transportation Plan for Public Lands near Florence, Ariz.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Tucson Field Office is proposing a
transportation plan covering approximately 96,320 acres of public lands
near Florence and Superior, Ariz. and is now seeking public comment during
a 60-day review period.

The purpose of the Middle Gila Canyons Transportation and Travel Management Plan
and accompanying Environmental Assessment (EA) is to designate travel
routes and identify use restrictions needed to protect sensitive resources
in the planning area.

The transportation plan identifies approximately 263 miles of road or
primitive road, along with several Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) sport sites.
All routes in the plan are based on a comprehensive travel route inventory
completed in 2003, as well as stakeholder meetings convened in 2007. The
management alternatives identified in the plan evolved from a route
evaluation conducted by the Middle Gila Conservation Partnership in 2005.
The Middle Gila Conservation Partnership is a group of interested
representatives from state, federal and local agencies who assisted the BLM
in maintaining recreational use in the Middle Gila region while preserving
the area’s natural resource value. In addition, a range of public interests
provided input in developing the proposed plan.

The EA results conclude that the proposed plan is not expected to have a
significant impact on the environment, and it is designed to reduce some of
the current impacts to sensitive resources on public lands.

Copies of the plan and EA are available online at To request a hard copy,
call the BLM Tucson Field Office at 520-258-7242. Copies are also
available for review at the Tucson Field Office and Phoenix District

Comments may be submitted by May 8, 2009, to Mark Lambert or Francisco
Mendoza, Outdoor Recreation Planner; Tucson Field Office; 12661 East
Broadway; Tucson, Ariz. 85748-7208, or by e-mail at

After consideration of the comments received, the BLM will implement the
Middle Gila Canyons Transportation and Travel Management Plan beginning in
the summer of 2009. For more information, please contact Kristen Lenhardt
at 520-258-7200.

All the areas in pink will be closed. All trails not on the map will be closed
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Re: Florence closures
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 07:48:09 AM »
WHAT: Tucson BLM will present the plan to the OHV community
WHERE: Game & Fish Building at the Fairgrounds
I-10 & I-17
Take 19th Avenue entrance into the fairgrounds. G&F building will be on your right before you reach the stadium.
TIME: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Plans as they stand as of now are each attendee will write their question and/or concerns on a piece of paper which will be presented to the BLM representatives. BLM will read (To the entire group) and will then answer to the entire group.

I'm hoping someone from the Tucson area will host a meeting in that area sometime between April 14 and May 8..............

Following the April 14th meeting we need to ALL submit their comments to the BLM. I don't mean 20-50 comments........ I'm talking HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS. Hopefully the ATV community will join in as they're losing more than 4x4's but we CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.


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Re: Florence closures
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 09:35:20 AM »
I would like to ride with some one.  Sue


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Re: Florence closures
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2009, 07:48:20 PM »
I'm not going to be able to make it on the 14th cause of a prior engagement.



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Re: Florence closures
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 07:06:23 PM »
Try to wear RED -  see additional info

click on read more -  then click open

Tues, APRIL 14, 2009
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
1826 W. McDowell, Phoenix

Arizona Game & Fish building at the Fairgrounds located at the junction of I-17 & I-10
PLEASE NOTE:  Entrance gate off McDowell (just east of 19th Avenue) will be the only gate open.  As entering the gate you will have to explain to the guard you are there for a meeting at the Game & Fish building.  Continue straight past the Coliseum and then turn left.  You may have to hunt for a parking space as the fair opens the next day and they are worried parking may be difficult.  The Game & Fish building is a large building just east of the coliseum.
Wear RED if you chose…………..  the important issue is to have NUMBERS.  We will get nothing if we don’t show interest!

BLM will be in attendance with the maps.  We will not be able to “speak” but BLM will take written questions/issues/concerns at which time they will read and answer to the group as a whole.  Hopefully this will help everyone understand the detailed issues and how each of us can help make this work for both sides.  I believe BLM have helped make this a quality recreation area but it’s going to be up to all of us to keep it this way as well as improving it as we move forward.  Pinal County has supported the MGCP in maintaining this area for recreation………………  We are not going to agree with everything but all in all we certainly haven’t lost like California has.  Below are a few of the questions that have been put to me over the past couple of weeks.  Please feel free to add to them.  I will have paper available if BLM does not.  Following this meeting it is asked each of you write comments to BLM.  DUE by MAY 8, 2009.

The proposed CLOSED trails:
Lower Woodpecker
Martinez Canyon
Woody’s Wash
Broken Ankle
Jawbreaker  (this trail has been officially closed for a number of years)
1)   Page 5 of the Summary Plan, paragraph a:  WHO will be responsible for maintaining roads?  Will all roads be maintained “annually” as stated? 
2)   What if we don’t want roads to be improved unless it’s a safety issue or resourse issue?
3)   Page 5 of the Summary Plan, paragraph b:  What are “primitive roads”?  How do these trails apply to the stated “annual maintenance”?
4)   WHY 139.3 miles of CLOSED ROUTES?  My concern is by closing this amount of existing trails it only puts more impact on the trails remaining open and it looks as though the ATV’s and bikes have fewer places to ride thusly putting them on the 4x4 technical trails or major routes.  This is a safety issue.
5)   Are there any plans to designate trails only to ATV’s or UTV’s or bikes?
6)   Page 6 of the Summary Plan, paragraph c:  Please explain the last paragraph relating to 12.6 miles of routes related to rock crawling to be identified as specialized recreation sites?  Does this mean that in the area of the trail the sides or rock obstacles are part of the trail?
7)   Page 7, paragraphs 3 & 4:  you refer to route widths, intensity, surface, curves etc…….  Why would you enhance the problems with managing these issues by closing so many miles of trails.  It seems most of the trails on the ground today are due to “supply and demand”.  These numbers will not lessen.
8)   Will OHV vehicles be restricted from major ingress/egress routes that “hauling trucks” use?  If so how will the recreational vehicles be warned?
9)   Page 9, paragraph 5b:  I don’t find specific plans or proposals regarding the Great Western Trail.  Is it specified on the maps?
10)   Page 3, paragraph 5c:  How do the Pinal County Trails along the river affect OHV recreation?  Can OHV no longer access camping sites along the river?
11)   Will there be any approved river crossings for OHV?
12)   Page 11, paragraph 2:  WHO makes the site plans?  Many of the “OHV SITES” shown on the maps are simply 4x4 trails.  They are not technical trails and do not require any special equipment.  WHY do ALL these trails fall under a “special site” designation?
13)   Page 12, paragraph D; I note some of the 139.3 miles of closed routes are self claiming……  why are the remaining trails being closed?  Many of these depicted trails should be designated for ATV, UTV or bike routes.
14)   Due to the fact the State Land Dept. has put so many stipulations regarding access to Trust lands will BLM lands offer anything in the way of “staging areas”; or “camping or event areas”.  If not, how do we move forward with getting some of these areas implemented into the area plans?
15)   Page 14, paragraph 5 of the Summary Plan it states “pull off a designated route up to 100 ft on either side of the centerline”.  What exactly does this mean?
16)   Page 15, paragraph I of the Summary Plan talks of issuance of a Record of Decision and map.  Please explain and what is the timeline for all of this to take place?  Are the existing trails open to our use until such time all this is final? 
17)   It is my understanding we can propose to BLM additional trails for future use.  HOW do we do this and how long does this take? 
18)   Can we propose reopening trails as the OHV numbers increase?
19)   I’m assuming NEPA must be done on any “new trail proposals”.  Will this also include trails that are now on the inventory?  Will we just be told such things as:  “No money, time or personnel to do the required work for new trails?”
20)   Regarding dollars for funding NEPA, trails, etc can we, the public, write grants with BLM supporting them?
21)   It is my understanding BLM regulations state you need “reasons” for closures.  Will you give us the specific reasons for the closures of:  Martinez, Lower Woodpecker, Woody’s Wash, Overdose and Broken Ankle?
22)   It is my understanding Broken Ankle was suggested for closure by the OHV reps in the evaluation portions of this procedure because it was felt it was unsafe for a novice driver.  Can we replace another of the closed trails by rebuilding this trail to be of equal difficulty to replace our loss? 
23)   I am specifically interested in the reason behind the closure of Martinez.  There have been years of accusations towards OHV regarding damage to the structures and resources.  I know for fact the damage at the cabin has nothing to do with OHV and the crossing of the stream just above the ponds has been ruled by BLM fish specialist to not be a problem.  OHV offered a number of years ago to help rebuild or stabilize the house…………  at our cost by the way, but we were never allowed to do anything.  We were recently accused of destroying the rock outbuilding where it shows definitively that Mother Nature did the damage.  We asked for a partnership proposition of “gating by permit for 3 years” to give time to rebuild and restructure the canyon while being able to monitor who goes into the canyon.  By closing out only the OHV only allows the RAVE groups and campers to do whatever they wish.  The only thing it does is take the blame off OHV.  If this canyon is to be closed it needs to be closed to EVERYONE.
24)   If Lower Woodpecker is closed do we have use of the Middle Woodpecker area as a “play area” or just a pass through to Upper Woodpecker without traveling the main road?
Please add additional questions or concerns so everyone sees and understands the issues.

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Re: Florence closures
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 08:15:45 AM »
A quick thanks to all that attended.

We had 16 out of 34 members or less than half of the club. Guess we will be driving to Utah to wheel if we don't start fighting these closures.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 04:22:33 PM by Charlie »
Everyone brings Joy to my life. Some when they come, Some when they Go!!!