Montezuma BOCC meet 8/18

Montezuma BOCC meeting 8/18/14
Just a few notes that may be of interest to some of you. Please make note, that the BOCC meetings are open to the public, so come and get the straight info., not have to get the diluted news from the paper or even here.
Roads Dept. is accomplishing a lot of work. The new junction of road 23 and Hwy 184 is about done. I drove by it today and it is really looking good.
Of interest is the amount of truck traffic that is happening on Hwy 491 these days. It was reported that 12,500 (plus or minus) trucks pass the weigh station south of Cortez PER MONTH, or 416 per DAY.. That does not account for the trucks that join the crowd later coming in from hwy 184 at that jct. That is 150,000 trucks per year. No wonder our road breaks down.
Federal Agencies met with the BOCC
Forest Service mentioned that the Kinder Morgan seismic work on the NF is about done, with clean up crews finishing up.
Will be doing some drainage restoration work to reduce erosion of head cutting on a stream problem
The Lake Canyon insect cutting and the tri-state power line extension are both still in planning stages, NEPA etc.
Boggy Glade area is to have more carsonite stakes put up, closing roads in the TMP. Did mention that they will possibly be making some additional open camping sites available for access for hunters.
The next Rico-Dolores West TMP pre planning meeting will be Sept. 11 in Dolores. There was some discussion regarding the FS requirement to Coordinate with the BOCC. The FS stated that the BOCC has no more “weight” than any other group. Said that is the “official” policy, however the dist. ranger could personally consider a little more weight (if he chooses). Hmmmm, maybe the law needs to be read?
Question was asked on status of the trail from Dolores to House Creek. Reported that planning is underway, with cultural surveys to be done. Hope to start construction next year.
The Forest Management Plan had been approved and all appeals have been denied, so it is official. However they expect some litigation challenges regarding water for fish to come up. Hmmm how about agriculture??
BLM reported that they are working to purchase 920 acres of private lands to add to the Canyon of the Ancients Monument. All from one willing seller, 320 acres this year and 600 acres next year, all in the upper end of Trail Canyon. Funding is from the Land and water Conservation Fund (these are public monies). Total cost will be 1.8+ MILLION dollars. BOCC asked if the BLM was going to seek State approval for the purchase? Answer was a simple NO! *editors note following here: Concerns here is that the County is already 2/3 federal controlled! Federal lands are NOT on the tax rolls, and movement of private to MORE federal also removes economic production and tax base for the County. ALSO, the U.S. Constitution states in Art.I Sec. 8 that the federal government can only own certain limited and specifically identified lands, which does NOT include any forest or range or agriculture lands. Further, that same section states that even for those limited authorized lands must be “purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in Which the Same shall be”…. In answer to the question, the BLM was saying it was going to ignore and violate the Constitution of the United States on two counts.
The Sand Canyon parking area is being delayed due to having two recreation staff retire. So will need to wait for new staff and direction before proceeding. It was also pointed out that the Sand Canyon is a “special management unit” within the Monument, and that it is imperative that users STAY ON the TRAILS. Asked about hunters during hunting season? Told they really need to stay on the trails also! Hmmmm need to put up signs for the deer and lions so they don’t cause the hunter to violate the rules.
Mentioned that the SW Colorado Alliance is now a 501 (C3) so will be getting money to do work in the Monumlent. ??
The Gunnison Sage Grouse comment period ends 22nd (that is THIS FRIDAY) When questioned, the BLM felt that there was no legitimate Sage Grouse habitat in the Monument, even though the FWS has included it.
Asked about visitor visitation to the Monument , It was stated that visitation is down 10-11% from last year.

Hope this is of some use and benefit for you readers.