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John Stewart

Weston Hills Recreation Area to Reopen

(Aug 20, 2009) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Buffalo Field Office will reopen the Weston Hills recreation area on August 21 following an emergency closure on July 24 due to vandalism that destroyed a vaulted toilet.

The destroyed toilet remains on the site but has been welded shut for safety and law enforcement reasons and is no longer available for public use.

“I am pleased that we are able to open this popular recreation area in time for the antelope hunting season,” noted Buffalo Field Office Manager Duane Spencer. “We appreciate all the cooperation and support from the public.”

The Weston Hills recreation area consists of approximately 9,000 acres of BLM-administered public lands adjoining the Thunder Basin National Grassland. The area is jointly managed with the USDA Forest Service. Weston Hills is located 25 miles northeast of Gillette, Wyo. and is accessible via Wyoming Highway 59 North.

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John Stewart

Flash Floods washout access to BLM's Texas Creek OHV recreation area

Cañon City, CO (Jul 27, 2009) – The BLM is advising off-highway vehicle (OHV) and other recreation users to avoid the Texas Creek recreation area due to washout conditions.   Flash floods from this past weekend’s storm activity washed out County Road 27 just north of the Texas Creek Bridge.  County Road 27 is the only access into the recreation area.  The parking area for the Texas Creek OHV recreation area was also damaged by the flooding but the boat ramp is still accessible.

The Fremont County road department will start work on the road tomorrow.  BLM anticipates flash floods may have caused major damage to trails in the recreation area and will go in as soon as the road is accessible to do an assessment of the area. BLM is asking the public to completely avoid this area at this time.  The public can contact the BLM at 719-269-8500 for the latest update on the Texas Creek recreation area trails during and after normal business hours.

The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands. --BLM--

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John Stewart

Two-Year ‘Time-Out’ from New Mining Claims on Arizona Strip

Salazar Calls Two-Year ‘Time-Out’ from New Mining Claims on Arizona Strip Watershed near Grand Canyon National Park: Department will evaluate more extended withdrawal of lands from new mining claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jul 20, 2009) – After carefully considering the issue of uranium mining near Grand Canyon National Park, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has decided to segregate nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in the Arizona Strip for two years while the Department evaluates whether to withdraw these lands from new mining claims for an additional 20 years.

“I am calling a two-year ‘Time-Out’ from all new mining claims in the Arizona Strip near the Grand Canyon because we have a responsibility to ensure we are developing our nation’s resources in a way that protects local communities, treasured landscapes, and our watersheds,” said Secretary Salazar.  “Over the next two years, we will gather the best science and input from the public, members of Congress, tribes, and stakeholders, and we will thoughtfully evaluate whether these lands should be withdrawn from new mining claims for a longer period of time.”

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John Stewart

New Rules to Begin at Hot Well Dunes

Safford, Ariz.  Due, in part, to increasing use and the need to ensure visitor safety at the Hot Well Dunes (HWD) Recreation Area, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has some new rules for the 2000-acre recreation site southeast of Safford. 

The rules, called supplementary rules, relate to vehicle rider capacity, clinging to or being towed by a vehicle, safety flags, vehicle use, public nudity, firearms, pets, speed limit, camping, waste disposal and length of stay. Only the first three rules are new. The other eight incorporate existing BLM rules and regulations.  

The BLM Safford Field Office proposed the new rules in October 2008 and solicited comments during a 60-day public comment period that ended on December 15. After reviewing the comments received, the BLM concluded that the proposed rules should be adopted. The BLM anticipates that the new rules will be a positive step toward protecting the health and safety of visitors that enjoy the popular recreation area.

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John Stewart

New Rules for the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area Issued

Final Supplementary Rules for the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, Public Lands Administered by the Bureau of Land Management Gila District and Safford Field Office, Graham County, AZ

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing new supplementary rules for the Hot Well Dunes (HWD) Recreation Area, which is located in Graham County, Arizona, and is managed by the Gila District and Safford Field Office. The rules address vehicle rider capacity, clinging to or being towed by a vehicle, safety flags, vehicle use, public nudity, firearms, pets, speed limit, camping, waste disposal, and length of stay. All current supplementary rules for the HWD Recreation Area are rescinded and replaced by these revised rules.

DATES: These rules will become effective August 10, 2009.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice

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