By: Mona Ehnes, MTVRA

Earlier I sent out a request to all MTVRA members asking for anyone who knows trails or rides within the BLM Hi-Line area to reply or send me a message. As of this date, it appears that no one rides the BLM Hi-Line area or maybe there are just no trails. This is written with “tongue-in-cheek” as I know there is someone out there that has information.

The Hi-Line RMP alternatives released all have one decision in common: “completion of comprehensive travel management plans will involve moving from an interim designation of “limited to existing roads, primitive roads and trails”, to a designation of “limited to designated roads, primitive roads, and trails and establishing objectives for each route.” Simply this will mean only designated roads and trails will be open. If it isn’t designated, it will be closed!

While a comprehensive travel management plan will take some time to complete, the motorized community must pool their information and ideas and begin taking inventory NOW, prior to the BLM asking for comments. Once the request for comments begins, the time crunch begins. BLM plans to hire a consulting firm to do inventory if funding is available. They will base their proposals and alternatives on this inventory. We must be sure our interests are presented prior to comments. Let’s start early and be one up on the process this time.

Following are a couple quotes from WILD Montana, summer 2013. “The beauty of the RMP process is that it is a public process. According to BLM Instruction Memorandum 2013-106, {members of the public, including individual citizens, nongovernment organizations and cooperating agencies may collect and submit inventory information to the BLM for its consideration to help BLM’s inventory process.} And thus a group of six spent nine days conducting a thorough inventory of the beautiful wildlands of southeast Montana.”

“The Miles City District which covers 2.8 million acres identified only one area of 5,200 acres as having wilderness characteristics.”

“We hope to expand the acres of identified land with wilderness characteristics and nudge the BLM to better protect the wilderness-quality lands.”

Does any of this motivate you to talk to friends and families who ride? We must work hard to keep riding opportunities, but help is needed with “on-the-ground” data from you who live and ride there! Mapping and GPS technology is available and every bit of information, no matter the size and amount, is needed. Let’s get some movement going!

Please contact Mona Ehnes NOW!

Mona Ehnes

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