County Commissioners discuss land protection
Western slope county commissioners met today to discuss how we can protect road access right here in our community.
Commissioners from Garfield County presented their ideas on how Western Slope counties can successfully preserve access to roads and trails.
The meeting was called to provide an educational report on how communities could be affected by federal land agencies.
Both Garfield and Montrose county officials said they've successfully protected their land, through a statute that allows for construction of highways only over public lands, not reserved for public uses.
Brandon Siegfried, a supporter of public land access, says for the first time, access to roads and trails in Western Colorado counties is being threatened.
This is huge for Mesa County, we've never had an assault on our access in our history, so now for the first time we're looking at a federal government agency, which is unelected, coming in and closing two thirds of our public roads right now."
Siegfried added that the bureau of land management may attempt to close 60 percent of Mesa County's intensive-use regions, such as desert areas used for dirt biking and outdoor recreation.
He says the BLM wants to close 21 hundred miles of roads in the area, even though the majority of roads fall under the statute.
The statute can oversee BLM; however the federal agency doesn't recognize it.
Other public land access advocates told us, protecting their land is extremely important, not only for community members now but for generations to come.
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