ModernJeeper is proud to have Don Amador in our contributing and supporting staff of writers. Don’s credentials are unsurpassed in the land use and access world, and here he gives us his take on this exiting news about public lands.
PROVIDE RECREATION BEFORE SELLING OFF PUBLIC LANDS?
On March 21, 2019, Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a secretarial order requiring Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to consider public access for outdoor recreational activities before deciding whether a federal parcel should be sold or exchanged.
You can read the entire INTERIOR ORDER 3373 in .pdf format here.
Throughout the West there are many BLM “disposal” parcels that are either landlocked or adjacent to existing OHV recreation sites. Also, some of these undeveloped disposal areas are stand-alone sites that provide important motorized and/or non-motorized recreation.
This order also directs BLM to continue its efforts to consolidate checkerboard or matrix lands to provide enhanced connectivity between designated roads, trails, and areas. ModernJeepers are thrilled to hear this news because of the confusing array of ownership in some areas of our public lands.
ModernJeeper asked Don Amador, a 2016 Inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, to give us his professional opinions. Don stated, “Consolidation of BLM administered lands for public benefit is one of the most important concepts that OHV should embrace as a way to provide additional recreation opportunities for current and future generations.”
“It is also important for the BLM to undertake careful review of proposed disposal lands to ensure they are not currently being used for recreational activities or have the potential to provide access to new trails or other forms of recreation,” Amador continues.
“As a newly appointed ‘OHV Recreation’ representative to the Central CA BLM Resource Advisory Council (RAC), I look forward to discussions with other RAC members and the agency about looking for opportunities to purchase or exchange non-federal lands to enhance public access and recreational opportunity at existing BLM units or create new recreation sites in under-served areas,” Amador concludes.
Stay tuned at ModernJeeper.com for more on this news as we follow the access to our public lands.