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John Stewart

California Desert Receives $8.3 Million in OHV Grants

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) California Desert District will receive about $8.3 million in grants from California’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Program, BLM’s California Desert District manager, Steve Borchard, announced today.  

“We’re grateful for the award of the OHV grants,” said Borchard.  “With these funds we can improve the recreational experience for off-highway enthusiasts, while ensuring we protect the diversity of species that inhabit the California Desert.  As managers of our public lands, we at BLM also have a special responsibility to preserve these areas for multiple uses, including such non-motorized activities as hiking, backpacking, hang gliding, hunting, rock hounding, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, photography, rock climbing, and mountain biking.  OHV grants will enhance access for these activities.”

About $3.2 million in OHV grants will go toward the operation and maintenance of designated routes that reduce impacts upon wildlife and their habitats.  In addition, the grants will provide support services for high-quality OHV programs in recreation areas such as Dumont Dunes, El Mirage, and Imperial Sand Dunes.  California’s OHV Recreation Program, a division of California State Parks, awarded BLM about $1.3 million to ensure protection of visitors at OHV recreation areas and to protect the natural resources of public lands through law enforcement.

Another $3.8 million was awarded BLM for restoration, education, and safety projects.  The California Desert District comprises 67 wilderness areas, all of which were closed to OHV use upon designation in 1994. However, 1,400 trails and ways crossed the 4,000 miles of wilderness boundary, encouraging illegal egress by desert OHV users. The BLM will employ boundary signing, preparation and distribution of current maps, education and outreach, ‘hard barrier’ [e.g., fences, barricades], a law enforcement presence, and ‘soft barrier’ [vertical mulch] construction as part of its restoration efforts.

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John Stewart

Colorado Federal land title information available

BLM announces Colorado Federal land title information available on the web

(June 12, 2009) - Colorado is one of the first of five western states to post Master Title and Use Plats information on the General Land Office (GLO) records web site. Private citizens, title companies, the oil and gas industry, mining claimants, other federal agencies, historians, genealogists, schools, and others can now obtain free data and images capturing Land Title and Land Use information at www.glorecords.blm.gov.

As of June 8, 2009, the GLO web site had over 4,700 Master Title Plats and Use Plats for the State of Colorado. In addition to the Master Title Plat and Use Plats, there are approximately 27,000 Historical Indiceson the web site, which provide history of  land status by identifying all past and present actions that affect title to Federal lands and are recorded in chronological order. In addition to Colorado's data, the web site includes over 10,000 Master Title Plats for the States of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota and nearly 5,500 Master Title Plats for the State of Idaho. These records show Federal ownership, use authorization, agency jurisdiction, and rights reserved to the federal government on private land within a township. They will continually be updated as land title and land use changes. For convenience, web site viewers can query by township and range to receive the exact location of where the lands are located.  The public will no longer have to visit the Colorado State Office in Lakewood to view the Master Title and Use Plat information on microfilm and purchase paper copies. Now anyone can view the information via a computer from their home or office. The Master Title and Use Plats can be used in conjunction with the Patents already available from the GLO Records Web Site for a better understanding of the Federal government rights and interests. In addition,  each online Master Title Plat online has corresponding Historical Indices, which provide history of the land status by identifying all past and present actions that affect title to Federal lands in chronological order. The GLO Records Web site is continuously expanding its archives to provide the public with more records in a user friendly environment. Additional states and documents will be added to the GLO Web Site as the data and images become available.
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John Stewart

BLM Expands Land Title and Land Use Information

General Land Office Adds Colorado, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas

 BOISE – Most of the Master Title and Use Plats for the States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have just been made available on the Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States (BLM-ES) General Land Office (GLO) Records website. Title companies, historians, genealogists, schools and other interested people can now obtain free data and images capturing Land Title and Land Use information at www.glorecords.blm.gov.

These records are a graphical representation of federal ownership, use authorization, agency jurisdiction and rights reserved to the federal government on private land within a township. They will continually be updated as land title and land use change. For convenience of ease, website viewers can query by township and range to receive the exact location of the lands. 

The Master Title and Use Plats can be used in conjunction with the Patents, Survey Plats and Field Notes already available from the GLO Records website for a better understanding of the federal government rights and interests. “The BLM-ES is constantly creating new and improved ways to provide public access to our information that is simple and straight forward,” said Juan Palma, BLM-ES State Director. “No longer will the public have to go to our State Offices to view these important documents. Now they can see them from the comfort of their own homes via the computer. Access from anywhere at any time to these Master Title and Use Plats is now available and opens doors to a new audience of public users,” said Palma. As of June 8, 2009, the GLO Records website has over 10,000 Master Title Plats for the States of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota; nearly 5,500 Master Title Plats for the State of Idaho; and more than 14,000 Master Title Plats for the State of Colorado. In addition, for the States of Colorado and Idaho, each Master Title Plat online has corresponding Historical Indices, which provide a history of the land status by identifying in chronological order all past and present actions that affect title to federal lands. The GLO Records website is continuously expanding its archives to provide the public with more records in a user-friendly environment. Additional states and documents will be added to the website as the data and images become available. The Master Title Plats and Historical Indices for Idaho are also available to the public on the BLM’s public File Transfer Protocol (FTP) website. This site contains several different downloadable formats for each file. They can be found at: ftp.blm.gov/pub/ID/mtp. For questions or assistance with this FTP site, please contact Idaho BLM Land and Resource Information Systems Specialist Lydia Ferguison in Boise, phone (208) 373-3972 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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John Stewart

BLM Encourages Responsible Use at OHV Area

The BLM is encouraging recreationists to be mindful of rules and regulations and to act responsibly when using the Glendive Short Pine Off-Highway Vehicle Area located six miles south of Glendive, Montana.

The OHV area, situated just off Dawson County Road 335, consists of 3 1/2 sections or 2,240 acres of federal lands and is seeing an increase in use from both U.S. and international off-road enthusiasts."We would like to keep this area open to OHV use and riders who respect adjacent private property, clean up after themselves and operate safely will allow us to do that," said Elaine Raper, field manager for the Miles City Field Office.

According to Raper, the BLM has had several requests to close the area due to off-road vehicles trespassing onto adjacent private property. Lately, the area has seen an uptick in littering, dumping and sign vandalism; things BLM staff have limited time to address."The BLM would rather send staff out to improve access and recreation opportunities," said Raper. "Having to clean up trash and replace destroyed signs takes away personnel, time and resources that could be better used elsewhere.  "Short Pine is classified by the BLM as an "open" area; which means it is open for off-road and trail use by motorcycles, three wheelers, four wheelers and four-wheel drive trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Safety is of particular concern; both for the vehicle operator and for others in the area.  

According to BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Lori Harbaugh, the tendency by some riders to ride up and down the county road is an issue."Vehicles need to be plated and street legal when operating on the county road," said Harbaugh. "Both motorists and recreational vehicle operators need to use caution when driving the county road where it bisects the OHV area."When using the Glendive Short Pine Recreation Area, recreationists are reminded that the following rules apply:

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John Stewart

BLM Changes on the Snake River

IDAHO FALLS, ID (May 20, 2009): New Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service regulations were established on the South Fork and Lower Henry’s Fork of the Snake River to help protect the many valuable and unique natural resources in the river corridors. These changes will also assist managing agencies in properly maintaining the river corridor in an age of shrinking budgets coupled with increased visitor use. Some of the new regulations include:

·         Fire Pans Required: In order to prevent additional vegetation and soil disturbances, fire pans are now required. It is also impossible for agency staff to continuously remove all the ash from the fire pits that is left behind by visitors. Fire pans should be elevated off the ground to prevent scorching and should be at least 12-inches wide, with a 1 1/2-inch lip around its outer edge to sufficiently catch fire remains. All ash needs to be packed out with visitor before leaving their campsite.

·         Additional Designated Campsites: Over the next couple years, the entire river corridor on the South Fork will be identified with designated overnight campsites. These new sites will be modified after the designated campsite system in the “canyon” stretch below Conant Boat Ramp. By designation sites, people will know exactly where good camp locations are along the river, providing for better trip planning and safer boating. Designating sites also deters visitor use from sensitive plant and wildlife species, while providing an area where visitor impacts can occur.

·         Portable Toilets and Certified Waste Disposal Bags (WAG Bags or RESTOP): The human waste problem is getting worse on the rivers due to the increased use and the fact that people are not properly disposing of human waste. Agency staff continues to clean up messes left at designated camp sites. All overnight and day use boaters are required to carry out human waste properly, for example by using a portable toilet or certified waste disposal bags. Portable toilets must be reusable, washable, water tight and SCAT Machine or RV dump compatible. Portable toilets with snap-on lids (ammo can or plastic buckets) are required to have a rubber gasket in the lid. Plastic bag liners are not acceptable unless they are the Environmental Protection Agency approved WAG bag or RESTOP systems.

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