Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The BLM is seeking public comment on a proposed travel management plan covering more than 950,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands in the Gila-San Simon areas.
Contributed Article/Courtesy BLM
SAFFORD – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public comment on an environmental review for a proposed travel management plan covering BLM-managed public lands in the Gila-San Simon areas.
The Gila-San Simon TMP covers approximately 951,842 acres of BLM-managed public lands along U.S. Highway 70 from Fort Thomas to the New Mexico border, north to Clifton/Morenci, and south to Interstate-10, and covers parts of Graham, Greenlee, and Cochise counties.
The proposed plan would designate routes for motorized and non-motorized travel, establish maintenance guidelines, and identify use restrictions to protect resources and public safety. The proposal would maintain access for multiple uses, including off-highway vehicle use, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, bicycling, and camping.
“The Safford area is experiencing increased demand for outdoor recreation,” said acting Safford Field Manager Amelia Taylor. “It’s important for BLM to conduct comprehensive planning to enable a variety of public land uses while conserving the outdoor environment for future generations to enjoy.”
The 30-day public comment period begins Nov. 16 and closes Dec. 16, 2023. Interested parties may view the Story Map for an interactive map and an overview of the project, as well as review the draft EA and submit comments online at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/88963/510. Comments can also be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to BLM Safford Field Office, ATTN: Gila-San Simon TMP, 711 S. 14th Ave., Safford, AZ 85546.
BLM will host a public meeting on Nov. 29, from 5-7 p.m. MST, at the Graham County General Services Building at 921 W Thatcher Blvd., Safford, AZ, 85546. Those who cannot attend in person can participate via Zoom. Participants will need to use passcode 710615 to join the meeting.