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Chris Gholson

Black Canyon, AZ Recreation Plan?

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Those of you living in the central Arizona region may find this interesting. I just found out about it this afternoon, so I’m not exactly sure the impact, if any, that it will have on prospecting in this area. One positive thing is that at least they are inviting the public to voice their opinion. Check it out...

 

 

PHOENIX— The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Hassayampa Field Office invites the public to participate in the development of the Black Canyon Recreation and Travel Management Plan. In 2010, the BLM finalized land use plans that allow for recreational uses in the Black Canyon and Agua Fria area. The planning area includes public lands along the I-17 corridor north of Phoenix extending to the Dewey/Humbolt area. The area contains the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail. For information about the project, including maps of the area, go to:http://on.doi.gov/1jIQv3q

 

The agency needs the public’s help now identifying specific issues and concerns regarding open access, recreational use, public health and safety, and environmental issues that may impact natural, historical, and cultural resources. The plan will provide for a comprehensive trail system for approximately 325 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails, recreation opportunities, locations for parking/staging/camping areas, and plan for opportunities that are important to visitors.

 

The public is invited to these meetings:

  • June 10 at 6 p.m. at the Mayer High School. 17300 E. Mule Deer Dr, Spring Valley, AZ 86333
  • June 12 at 6p.m. at the Deer Valley Community Center. 2001 W. Wahalla Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85027
  • June 24 at 2 p.m. at the BLM Phoenix District Office. 21605 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85027
    This meeting is open the public, but will be focused on special recreation permits.

After hearing the issues that are important to the public, the BLM will prepare an environmental assessment.

 

The official 45-day comment period for the project will occur from June 1 through July 15, 2014. The BLM would like to know what roads are used, what types of recreational activities are desired and where they are desired, where commercial activities are occurring, such as ranching, mining, tourism, and other considerations the public wants to bring to our attention.

  • You may submit your comments electronically by emailing them to: blm_az_blackcanyon@blm.gov
  • You may mail your comments to: BLM Hassayampa Field Office, ATTN: Victor Vizcaino, Black Canyon, 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027, or by fax to: Victor Vizcaino at 623-580-5580.
  • You can also participate on the discussion board starting June 1, 2014, at http://blackcanyon.mindmixer.com/.

If you have any question about this project, please contact Victor Vizcaino, BLM Hassayampa Field Office Recreation Technician at 623-580-5520,vvizcaino@blm.gov, or Tom Bickauskas, BLM Hassayampa Field Office Travel Management Coordinator at 623-580-5502, tbickaus@blm.gov.

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ALERT ALERT ALERT!!!

RED FLAG

 

They are asking for input from the public for one reason only - they are required by law under the NEPA process.

 

It is an appeasement process, that is, it is enough for most people that they have the opportunity to voice their anger at dwindling access to public lands. Access for those that are not able to physically hike and carry equipment to areas of interest, either due to age or disability.

 

They are simply going through the motions. The decision has been made already and is probably available in draft form. The public's input will result in minor changes to their plan that will give the appearance that they are complying with NEPA requirements. End result will be a new plan to reclassify existing roads that have probably been used to access resources for over a century, to hiking trails. They will be used to justify funded restoration projects that will provide job security. If you look deep enough and follow the money, you will find that the "share holders" also are "partners"

that receive grants for restoration projects.

 

My advice is to immediately get your county board of supervisors or commissioners involved as well as your county Sherriff.

 

This is not a regional project, many states and counties have already gone through this process. It is a directive from DC that is being implemented nation wide (mainly impacting the western states).

 

Do some research on the USFS's travel management plan. BLM has their version, the end game is the same.

 

In my County, they closed all of the roads that were not receiving maintenance funds. They called them "off system roads". Off system roads have been described as any pathway greater than 3 car lengths off the road that are not on their published maps. Any further than that will result in a hefty fine and possible prison time. People are literally unable to legally camp at their traditional deer hunting camps because they are not in their maps. However, it should be familiar that it won't be enforced for several years. There will be a generous "education period" for the public so they can slowly learn the restrictions.

 

I personally spent 12 months babying the USFS along in their (non- existent) plan to add roads to the maps. My family has 3 mining claims that lost vehicular access. Took 12 months to get 1 of them opened that was 1/4 mile long.

 

They promised a decision in 60 days, after no return communications, I called and pushed the process forward...every 30 days I would have to call and prompt action. 5 months ago, they told me it was approved to be opened to vehicular access. It would not suprize me if I called back that they were still "working on it".

 

Don't get me started.

 

 

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I'm sorry not "share holders" the correct term is "Stake Holders".

 

Sorry if this drifts I to political discussion. I think access to public lands, while reasonably protecting the resources is something we should all agree on. However reasonable is obviously open to discussion.

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I get nervous anytime the Feds hatch a "plan" like this. The Roadrunner Prospecting Club have many claims in this area as well others that hold patented claims. I suppose they would have to grandfather these groups in if they close the access roads to the claims? My wife and I will attend a meeting.

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Well you guys down there in arizona should keep you ears alert to what the BLM says, because it will be just the opposite of what they will do, up here in wyo. that process is leading to a complete closure of lands because now they have used the sage grouse as a rouse to shut said public lands down to all uses .

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Ok so we will have full access then? ..why bring it up if no motorized vehicle access will be denied?.....If noting is going to change, then I dnt have to worry. However, I do have nice boots and a mountain bike if need be.

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Please send pictures of how you haul your equipment and tools to your mining claim with your hiking boots and your mountain bike. You know, pump, hoses, boxes, detectors, shovels, digging bars, fuel cans, tent, sleeping bags, ice chest, food, water, ect. Bring your family that includes small children and perhaps and a grandparent or two...also after you have had your knees worn out from years of working and just want to enjoy retirement while you still have some quality time left.

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Now Boys ... Be nice! ... You both are coming from the opposite end of the spectrum ... one a minimalist and the other all the gear possible ... and this thread is about land closures ... keep the personal stuff under wraps. Jus a suggestion ... Adam can do well with a bike or boots ... Imaudigger you will need a trailer and a sidecar for your bike or maybe a good pair of boots, a harness and a cart to haul all that gear! Either way ... Have fun guys!

 

Mike F

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Different ends of the spectrum yes and no. I recognize and respect both sides. I realize that the mineral estate is a private property and elimination of vehicular access can significantly lower the value of the claim, as well as making it difficult - if not impossible to efficiently access the minerals. Having someone tell me to just buy a bike rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps that comment wasn't directed at me personally and I over reacted, if so I apologize.

 

The main point of my original post, is that others have already gone through this process and have experienced its effects.

 

Luckily at this point in time most everybody is ignoring the road closures. However when they start enforcing it, there will be alot of upset people. Because they didnt place signs, most people don't even know they are legally closed.

 

 

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One of my primary frustrations is that they have let access, unnecessary roads and vehicular traffic get way out of hand to begin with. Unfortunately now they most likely will swing too far the other way and eliminate more than they should. I, for one, am all for closing a lot of the trails and roads that people have taken upon themselves to create. From a prospecting perspective it will make it more difficult to get to your location with all the gear you are used to bringing and from a hunting perspective it will weed out a lot of the road hunters and bring hunting back to what it should be.

 

Completely different location entirely, but in the high country of Az I used to hike 5-6 miles a day chasing elk or mulies, now there are few places you can hike that far without crossing a road or trail with a quad parked on it. Access is needed but the trails and weekend warrior roads that have sprouted up is a bit out of control in my opinion.

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I can appreciate your point of view because I realize the terrain and level of development is different across the country.

 

In my area it is quite different. We have a half dozen wilderness areas where you can't even ride a bicycle (or prospect). Very beautiful land with thousands of mountain lakes. Outside the wilderness areas, the terrain prohibits ATV's from anywhere but along the roads (historically used to extract natural resources). The road hunters can hunt all they want and never touch the majority of the deer habitat. Truthfully many of the road hunters I see are older guys with hip/knee problems. I am willing to broaden my idea of what hunting "should be" to encompass those that can't get out there like they used to.

 

When I get older and cannot hike anymore, you can bet I will be cruising the roads on an ATV, if they are not closed or restricted.

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I have been told by staff from one of our US senators that more of this kind of crap is coming down the pike because the "western" states general opposition

to the present administration. Down here in Texas they are after the oil producers in the Permian Basin over a lizard no one has ever heard of.

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