Impact statement on Dolores forest travel is released

Thursday, May 5, 2016 4:11 PM

The Dolores District of San Juan National Forest has released its long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Rico-West Dolores Roads and Trails Travel Management Plan for public review and comment.

The project area is located north of Dolores, Colorado, and includes the Bear Creek, Taylor Mesa, Calico National Recreation Trail, Bolam Pass, the Divide road and Groundhog Point areas. Five alternatives address motor-vehicle use on National Forest roads and trails.

A proposed action was released during the scoping period in December 2014. The plan proposed that some trails be closed to motorized uses, including at Bear Creek. New ATV trails routes were identified in the proposal. Closures drew criticism from motorized users and tour companies. Quiet users, including hunters and wildlife advocates, praised the closures and advocated that additional trails be closed to motorized uses.

The alternatives address the issues identified during that scoping process. The draft statement does not identify a preferred alternative.

A 45-day comment period begins on Friday, May 6. Comments should be submitted by June 20. Commenters are encouraged to be as specific as possible about the actions proposed and about specific areas on the landscape under review.

The DEIS document including maps and an electronic comment form are available on the Forest Service website at

If commenting in writing, send written comments to the Dolores Public Lands Office 29211 Colorado Highway 184, Dolores, CO 81323. Comments may also be hand-delivered to this address between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Comments may also be emailed to Debbie Kill at

A public open house is scheduled for June 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dolores Community Center. For more information contact Debbie Kill, NEPA coordinator at (970) 882-6822. Or make an appointment to meet with staff in person.