Bureau of Land Management Implementation
The Bureau of Land Management is the agency most responsible for the protection of the canyonlands, and the passage of the Owyhee Initiative brought a number of additional responsibilities for them. Currently, the BLM is gpsing boundary roads, fence lines and other important structures and locations. And they are talking to off-roaders, ranchers and recreationists about changes on the ground. Though it will likely take years to complete implementation of the legislation, crews have already surveyed and marked many of the remote locations in the vast desert country.
It is one thing to say that wilderness areas exist but it's now our job to get out on the ground and identify where those boundaries are on the ground, to let people know where those boundaries are by marking them. We're also identifying all of the range improvements, that means fences, springs, reservoir, etc. There is a whole host of things that are necessary to actually bring management to an area that is under a new management scheme. My hope is that we can come to some good middle ground of land management that allows for use of the area but provides adequate protection.
This job has been just incredible for me to be part of the on the ground efforts to implement wilderness. I think that is a unique experience to have as a BLM employee to be part of this effort and that has really meant a lot to mean. And this is a spectacular area.