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BLM Temporarily Closes Public Lands to Off-Highway Vehicles Near Montrose

MONTROSE, Colo. Jan 3, 2007 - The Bureau of Land Management Uncompahgre Field Office has implemented temporary route closures to motorized and mechanized travel in various locations on BLM public lands near Montrose. Damage to cultural sites, cutting of trees, movement of rock and soil, and trampled vegetation have been documented on theses unauthorized routes.

"The BLM has been entrusted by the public to protect their lands for the enjoyment of current and future generations," Field Manager Barb Sharrow said. "Monitoring is telling us that inappropriate off-route travel is endangering both natural and cultural resources in several areas of the Uncompahgre Field Office, leaving us no choice but to act."

The BLM coordinated with affected user groups prior to initiating these temporary route closures, which will remain in effect until the BLM completes a comprehensive Travel Management Plan for the areas. The first phase of these planning efforts is slated to begin in early 2007. Identified routes affected by these temporary closures are located north of Highway 90 near Temple Park, both north and south of Rim Road west of Montrose, and on Sims Mesa southwest of Montrose.  Closures and restrictions will be clearly signed.

Penalties can be severe to those who knowingly and willfully violate any closure order. Maps of the closures are available for viewing at the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office, located at 2505 S. Townsend Avenue in Montrose. For additional information, contact Outdoor Recreation Planner Julie Stotler at (970) 240-5310.

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