The Politics of Trails: Mohave County to form off-road committee
Mohave County residents have a lot to say about the region’s off-road trails, and now there will be a new way to make their thoughts and ideas known.
The Board on Monday voted to organize a committee of Mohave County off-roading enthusiasts who would advise county supervisors on matters of recreation on public land. Each of the county’s five supervisors would appoint members to the committee from their respective districts, with one committee supervisor and one representative from the Mohave County Public Works division to oversee the group.
County staff members were directed Monday to draft a set of bylaws in the formation of such a committee, and to elicit information from supervisors as to potential appointees. According to Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius, members of the county’s off-road recreation community have already shown their interest.
“I’ve been approached by several members of my community who want to be on this committee,” Angius said. “They’re very excited. I think the time is right, and it’s a great idea.”
The committee’s formation comes as result of public input received in reference to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Travel Management Plan, a draft of which was published in August. The plan, which examined off-road desert trails throughout Mohave County, calls for the closure of about 1,600 miles of such trails. It was a proposal that drew contention from county residents and efforts by the Board of Supervisors to extend the BLM’s deadline for public comment on the plan last month.
“This started with the people,” Angius said. “If anyone has any ideas, they should contact the supervisor in their district to make sure those ideas are heard, and at least thought about.”
Lake Havasu City resident John Strong spoke at Monday’s meeting. As former president of the Havasu 4-Wheelers, Strong has maintains a collaborative partnership with the BLM on Mohave County trails.
“I hope we’re not spending money for just another step of bureaucracy,” Strong said. “We’ve built a very good relationship with the BLM. There’s a lot of time and work that it takes to do what we’ve been doing. I hope you’re not making a road block.”
The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is expected to receive a draft of the committee’s bylaws and possibly its initial members by its Nov. 5 meeting.