The Travel and Transportation Management Plan for the Alcova Fossil ACEC, Jackson Canyon ACEC, Muddy Mountain EEA and Bates Hole Travel Management Areas
The Travel Management and Transportation Management Plan (TMP) will address both motorized and non-motorized access and travel within the Alcova Fossil Area, Jackson Canyon ACEC, Muddy Mountain EEA and the Bates Hole Travel Management Areas (TMAs). All four TMAs contain BLM administered lands that are within the larger Bates Hole Management Area (MA), located in southwest Natrona County, Wyoming. The Bates Hole MA was identified in the Casper Resource Management Plan (RMP) (2007) as an area requiring more intensive management due to the abundance of natural resources including sensitive soils, important wildlife habitats, and diverse natural landscapes. In addition, the Casper Field Office RMP restricts Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use to "Designated Roads and Trails" within these areas. Completing a single Travel and Transportation Plan for TMAs within the Bates Hole Management Area streamlines the planning process and ensures a consistent management approach.
The intent of this planning effort is to designate motorized and non-motorized travel routes, to outline management prescriptions and to set guidelines for the authorization and reclamation of future motorized routes required for resource use and development. The BLM will incorporate input from internal and external cooperators, local communities, interest groups and private citizens into this plan.
This area has an intermingled landownership pattern with varying degrees of legal public access. The planning area has a total of 196,776.56 acres including private, state and BLM-administered lands. The BLM-administered land is approximately 83,390.67 acres or 42% of the total surface ownership. Legal motorized access is available via county roads that intersect with public lands. Primary user groups include private land owners, grazing lessees, OHV enthusiasts, big game hunters, professional hunting guides, and commercial mining interests. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has obtained walk-in access agreements with private land owners improving public access to this area.
The popularity of this area coupled with its close proximity to Casper and conflicting resource uses increases the potential for negative environmental impacts resulting from off-route and cross-country vehicle travel. As the population of Casper increases, it is reasonable to assume use of Bates Hole will follow.
The purpose of this plan is not to further restrict access, but to manage travel in such a manner as to protect the natural characteristics and important resource values. The overarching goals of the Bates Hole Travel Management Plan are to:
Provide and improve sustainable access for public needs and experiences
Protect natural resources and settings
Promote the safety of public land users
Minimize conflicts among the various users of public lands