On June 18, the Montezuma County commissioners passed a resolution that asserts rights of way on roads, routes and trails in the Rico West Dolores District of the San Juan National Forest. The action is known as RS 2477 and references the revised statue of an 1866 federal mining law.
The commissioners believe this action gives them the right to designate how existing roads, routes and trails in the Dolores District of the San Juan National Forest are used.
Briefly, this means that trails designated nonmotorized will be open for motorized use. This is without regard for the Travel Management Plan, which has resulted from coordinated efforts with the U.S. Forest Service and many other entities. The RS 2477 assertion includes the entirety of the Dolores Norwood Road through Dolores and San Miguel counties.
The Dolores and San Miguel boards of county commissioners were not informed of this action before it was taken. RS 2477 is not the simple action that the Montezuma County attorney and our commissioners would have people believe. It is complex and there are serious and costly implications for our county. This action should have public discussion with adequate public notice.
Commissioners often talk about representing all constituents. In this instance, they have failed. Transparency and openness were lacking.
Editor’s note: MB McAfee is currently a candidate for the Montezuma County Board of County Commissioners.