By Charles Pekow
A new national monument in Nevada is not only open for bicyclists to ride: it is open for them to suggest how to improve the cycling experience within it. Last July, President Barack Obama signed an order establishing the Basin & Range National Monument in southeastern Nevada, calling the area “an iconic landmark.”
His order protects 704,000 acres of what Obama called “cultural, prehistoric, and historic legacy,” placing them under control of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The proclamation gave BLM three years to develop a long-range land use plan, including recreational uses such as bicycling.
BLM’s Ely District Office is inviting the public to complete an envisioning questionnaire available at . http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/nv/nlcs_new/barnm.Par.12274.File.dat/Envisioning%20Questions%20BARNM_1_19_16_FINAL_Fillable%20PDF.pdf. BLM is inviting comments on everything from the extent of logging and gravel extraction to resource protection to recreational opportunities and signage.
The questionnaire specifically asks if BLM should identify certain areas as suitable for biking. Currently, people can bike on all existing roads and trails in the monument except in the Worthington Mountains Wilderness Area, though they’re not labeled as bike trails. BLM notes that interested parties need not answer every question – only the ones they want to. You’re free to suggest bicycling areas and not comment on wild horses or electronic transmission lines. You can file electronically, by fax or mail.
BLM is also forming a Friends Group of the Basin & Range National Monument. If you’re interested, contact Jocelyn Torres at [email protected].