Orders from Interior Department brass in Washington, D.C., have halted local work on a travel management plan for access to 137,000 acres of BLM-managed land in Blaine County, staffers from the agency’s Twin Falls District told the county commissioners Tuesday.
The directive casts doubt on the future of a comprehensive approach to governing use on public land stretching from Willow Creek in the west to the Little Wood River in the east, between U.S. Highway 20 in the south and the Sawtooth National Forest boundary in the north. It leaves local stakeholders—including the commissioners—to piece together smaller-scale plans while the BLM determines the future of access on its acreage.
That’s up to federal officials at the local office. Following a series of letters from then-Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and his successor, acting Secretary David Bernhardt, BLM acting-Director Brian Steed halted development on all management plans, except those mandated by court order.