Red Grade Trails Project Update – Submit Your Comment to the Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buffalo Field Office (BFO) has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the issuance of a right-of-way for the Red Grade Trail System for review and public comment. All comments must be received by August 19, 2016.

Download the Environmental Assessment document at: http://bit.ly/29Aga0B.

If you have any questions for the Sheridan Community Land Trust in relation to the BLM’s EA, please call us at 673-4702 or visit our office anytime M-F, 8:30am – 5pm at 52 S. Main St., Suite 1.

Summarized Details from the BLM Press Release:

The project would provide non-motorized recreation trails on the BLM-administered Red Grade Parcel, and would improve public health and safety along Red Grade Road. The Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) sent a formal proposal for a right-of-way (ROW) for the Red Grade Trail Project to the BFO in October of 2014. The State of Wyoming has granted SCLT a Special Use Lease for a 25-year term for the portion of the trails system that is located on State lands. Should the authorization be granted, Sheridan County would hold the ROW; the two parties would manage the trail system per a Memorandum of Understanding.

 

In May 2015, a first draft EA was issued that included SCLT’s original proposal (Alternative 2). The BFO received 325 written comments. In response to these comments, the BLM coordinated with the proponent and the public to develop this revised EA. The BLM will decide whether or not to authorize the proposed ROW, and if so, under what terms and conditions in concert with the Bureau’s multiple use mandate, environmental protection, and Resource Management Plan (RMP).

 

The trail system will be designated for non-motorized recreational use including mountain biking. The entirety of the trail is on public lands. The proposed action will not affect valid existing rights or other administrative permits associated with the federally administered public lands.

 

An integral component of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is public involvement. This request for public input is an opportunity for interested parties to participate and share their insights and concerns. Following the public comment period, the BLM will issue a final decision on the proposed action.

 

Written comments should be submitted by August 19, 2016 and addressed to:

Email to: buffalo_wymail@blm.gov

USPS mail to:

Red Grade Trail System Environmental Analysis

Attention: Tom Bills, Planning and Environmental Coordinator

1425 Fort Street

Buffalo, WY 82834

Fax to: (307) 684-1122

Why is it important to comment on the EA: 

Do you want better access to your public lands? Are you eager for an area where you could hike, run, bike, or horseback ride on safe, scenic, and sustainably-built trails with your family and friends? Do you travel to other communities to enjoy easy mountain access but wish for something closer to home?

It is critical for the BLM to hear from people like you, regardless of your position on the project. This is an opportunity to make your voice heard and inform the decision-making process.

Project Background

The concept of the Red Grade Trails System began with feedback from community members who pointed out that the Bighorn foothills lacked safe, scenic, and conveniently located community trails.

The success of this complex, multi-year project will depend on the support of a broad range of committed community partners that share SCLT’s belief that trail systems help to build healthy communities and a thriving local economy.

Project Highlights

  • 8 miles of proposed non-motorized trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians (This is the full scope, though BLM’s EA only covers a portion of the proposed mileage on BLM lands.)
  • Trails professionally-designed to be sustainable, to be safe, and to minimize user impacts
  • Trail system resides entirely on public lands (State of Wyoming, Bureau of Land Management & US Forest Service)
  • Construction proposed in 6 phases, with timing contingent on community capacity
  • Public access experience improved, making it safer and more sanitary for all recreationists
  • Locale for hiking, biking, and equestrian trail system for residents of Sheridan County
  • New opportunity to acknowledge and address existing trespass, firearm, and management concerns on vicinity public lands

 

Brad BauerRed Grade Trails Project Update – Submit Your Comment to the Bureau of Land Management