If you haven’t yet commented on the White Mountains and Steese transportation plans, I recently did and can offer a little guidance. These plans are huge and can be difficult to navigate, but here’s what I found.
Deadline to comment: August 20, 2021
Background: BLM manages the White Mountains National Recreation Area (Wickersham Dome, Beaver Creek, White Mountains cabins and trails) and the Steese National Conservation Area (Pinnell Mountain Trail, Birch Creek). Part of the agency’s duties is to manage transportation in those areas. The agency is updating travel management plans for those areas and is seeking public comment.
Comment via email (BLM_AK_FD_TMP@blm.gov) or at the online site (see link below).
Link to planning website: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/120326/510
CUTTING TO THE CHASE
- Go to the link above.
- Click on the links to the documents. You can download them easily (they are only 2-3 MB each).
- Check out the Table of Contents for what’s inside.
- Each plan has four alternatives: 1) No Action; 2) Balanced; 3) Resource Conservation; 4) Expanded Subsistence OHV Access.
- “Balanced” tries to balance between resource protection and access.
- Each plan has a ton of explanation, but the Alternatives are described in a few paragraphs:
- White Mountains plan – start on page 16
- Steese plan – start on page 14
- Both also have Alternative comparisons:
- White Mountains plan – start on page 21
- Steese plan – start on page 19
The site also has maps that help you see what the plan alternatives would do.
- On that first page (link at top), go to the Maps link on the left sidebar.
- Click on the link on the top of the page (look for the New! notice).
- The different alternatives are in the tabs at the top.
- On the maps you can click on individual trails to see what restrictions each trail would have under that alternative.
It’s still a bit of a bear to dig through all this, but I hope these tips help.