The West Mojave Route Network Project (WEMO) Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and draft Land Use Plan Amendment was released on March 16, 2018.
The plan aims to manage dispersed recreation visitation over an extensive area in the Mojave Desert. In the Eastern Sierra this includes BLM lands near Olancha, Keeler, Darwin and Owens Lake. The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement evaluates routes in the planning area and proposes a comprehensive route network that attempts to balance access with the protection of sensitive resources. Unfortunately, the new draft plan falls short- designating a spaghetti network of 6,300 miles of OHV routes across the West Mojave, and only 179 miles of non-motorized trails, requiring hikers and equestrians to navigate open terrain or share trails with motorized vehicles.
We will be ground truthing routes in Inyo County over the next 2 months, however our initial review reveals the BLM fails to protect adequately protect areas of high conservation and cultural value in Inyo County, disregarding multiple court orders. On its third attempt of a lawful plan to manage off-road vehicle use in the West Mojave, the BLM proposes to designate routes that do not actually exist on the ground, and designate miles of new routes in conservation areas, including lands with wilderness characteristics.
How to get involved:
- Comment on the project by June 14, 2018: firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are looking for volunteers to help us ground truth routes in southern Inyo County near the communities of Darwin, Keeler and Olancha. Contact Jora at email@example.com for more information on visiting these proposed designated routes.