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Mohave County Board of Supervisors seek more public comment time on BLM travel plan

September 23, 2018

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has yet to approve its Travel Management Plan, which would close more than 1,600 miles of desert trails throughout the region. But the agency last week extended the deadline for public comment by 30 days, according to Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson.

The Board of Supervisors last week submitted a request to BLM’s Colorado River District office to extend the time for public comment on its Travel Management Plan by another 180 days. While 30 days may not have been as much as desired, stakeholders at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors’ Sept. 10 meeting had much to say.

Trails mean big business for Mohave County, according to stakeholders commenting at the supervisors meeting. The region’s off-road recreation industry fuels a large portion of the county’s economy. Lake Havasu City is home to one of the largest four-wheel drivers’ organizations in Arizona, and the largest side-by-side organization in the U.S.

According to Golden Valley resident Ric Swats, who spoke at last week’s meeting, closing county trails could impact a $1.76 billion-per-year industry.

The draft of BLM’s forthcoming Travel Management Plan was proposed in August, and county residents were given a 30-day window to submit comments on the draft to BLM’s Colorado River District office. According to critics, however, the agency’s website has been difficult to navigate and even more so to submit comments electronically.

According to statements from BLM spokeswoman Valerie Gohlke earlier this month, the BLM has already received many comments on its current draft of the Travel Management Plan, and the agency will consider all commentary that has been submitted before a final decision of whether to approve the plan is made.

For more information about the BLM’s Travel Management Plan and how to submit a comment to the agency, visit www.blm.gov/az/st/en/fo/lake_havasu_field.html.

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