Two dozen of the 42 routes in the Eldorado National Forest that were closed by court order in 2012 were reopened Sept. 12 for public motorized vehicle use, announced Forest Supervisor Laurence Crabtree. The remaining 18 routes have segments that interfere with water flows in meadows and will be reopened after corrective actions have been made.
“I am implementing the decision that was made in June following the completion of a supplemental environmental impact statement and a record of decision,” said Crabtree. “Eleven appeals were filed on that decision and I am happy to say all 11 were withdrawn, which paved the way for me to open the 24 routes now and to get on with repairing the other 18.
Crabtree says that the appeals were withdrawn after the appellants and the Forest Service collaborated and agreed on how the Forest Service would move forward to implement the original decision.
“I believe it is in the best interest of the public we serve to move forward in a collaborative fashion,” said Crabtree. “I am committed to providing public motor vehicle access in the Eldorado National Forest while protecting and restoring sensitive resources.”
The 24 routes have been added to the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) which is available at all Eldorado National Forest offices. The map identifies the routes that are open for public motor vehicle use. The Forest Service recommends that visitors obtain the latest map to insure they are travelling on routes that are open to the public.
Copies of the Eldorado National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map, the Record of Decision, a list of the 24 routes that were reopened for public motorized vehicle travel, a list of the 18 routes that will receive future corrective actions, and the agreement the Forest Service will keep while implementing the Record of Decision, are available on the Eldorado national Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado.