The Bureau of Land Management’s Royal Gorge Field Office has issued a decision on a camping and travel management plan for Chaffee County based on the results of an environmental assessment and input from the public.
The results of a preliminary environmental assessment were presented for public comment in October 2022. Agency staff reviewed public comments and then used them to refine the document and reach a final decision to authorize the Proposed Action (Alternative D) as found in the Chaffee County Camping and Management Plan, with a few exceptions.
“Balancing public input with the long-term health and sustainability of public lands requires consideration of impacts to resources and frank discussions with the public,” said Royal Gorge Field Office manager Keith Berger. “Through that process, we think we’ve put together a plan that manages to do both.”
Alternative D includes establishing vehicle barriers as well as increased enforcement and education in areas without existing travel management plans (Shavano, Pass Creek, miscellaneous areas) and proposes adding fire rings, restrooms and fees for some areas, as well.
The decision addressed routes in areas without a travel management plan by establishing designated routes to reduce impacts on resources and continue to provide public access.
The decision also introduces improved management to provide camping in designated sites in the 38,000-acre area along with robust monitoring.
The installation of fire rings and site delineators, as well as increased education and outreach on camping ethics and regulations, will help accommodate increased demand while also reducing the environmental impact of that demand.
The final plan, environmental assessment, planning documents and decision record are available at: https://tinyurl.com/4sxxy824.
For more information, please contact Kalem Lenard, Assistant Field Manager at 719-433-8486 or [email protected], or contact Linda Skinner, Outdoor Recreation Planner at 719-269-8732 or [email protected]