The USDA Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District has made the environmental assessment for the East Side Road Management Project available for public review and comment at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/projects. The 30-day comment period will end July 29.
According to the initial scoping letter issued by the Pagosa Ranger District, the proposed project will include constructing and adding roads to the system, closing and decommissioning system roads, removing roads from the system, and changing motor vehicle designation on select motorized trails to better reflect the actual use and physical limitations of the trails.
The roads addressed by this project are ones used in the summer by motor vehicles. The letter states the purpose for this action, “is to designate a road and motorized trail system that better fits public and administrative motor vehicle access needs in the eastern portion of the Pagosa Ranger District.”
Among the needs the project will address is closing roads that are not needed for public use, reducing maintenance costs and eliminating environmental impacts of unneeded roads.
The project will add a total of one mile to existing roads: Fall Creek L, Snowball Creek F, West Fork B, and Blanco River G.
The project will close the following eight miles of existing open system roads to motor vehicles: Echo Canyon J beyond the intersection with 029.MI, Hatcher beyond recreation residences, Jackson Mountain B1 last .9 mi, Jackson Mountain B3, Fall Creek .3 mi near the end of road, Bear Basin B beyond intersection with 609C, Burns Canyon last 1.5 mi, Eight Mile C1 and D1, K Block G and Wolf Creek B.
The following roads will be closed to full-size motor vehicles and remain open to those less than 50 inches width: Willow Draw between existing closure gates, and Wolf Creek beyond intersection with 725K.
The following roads will be decommissioned: last .5 miles of Kenny Flats, Kenny Flats B1, last .25 miles of Archuleta Canyon, Blue Creek B, last 1.1 mi of Fall Creek, last 1.4 mi of Nipple Mountain, Minesite Cabin and the western part of the Wolf Creek Loop.
The following roads will be removed from the Forest Service road system: Mesa Cortado from Coyote Creek Road to end of Puma Place, and Spruce Canyon through private property.
The following trails will be designated non-motorized: Windy Pass, Navajo Peak from the end of Price Lake Road, and Coal Creek.
Treasure Mountain will become a motorcycle trail.
Depending on comments received during the period, the project will be implemented either in the fall of this year or summer of 2012.