Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests leaders are proposing to close the Irwin area, north of Crested Butte, and the Tincup area, southeast of Taylor Reservoir, to dispersed camping from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Camping in campgrounds will still be allowed at the Lake Irwin and Mirror Lake campgrounds. These areas are receiving increasing numbers of dispersed campers, user-created roads and spurs and successional occupation during the summer months, U.S. Forest Service leaders say. Additionally, increased use of motor vehicles off the designated roads, trailers and motorhomes with associated group camping are causing significant impacts.
In the Irwin area, the closure would prohibit dispersed camping within a half mile of National Forest System Roads. No. 826.1D (south of the private land) and 826.1D1. In the Tincup area, the closure would prohibit dispersed camping within a half mile of Road 765 from its junction with County Road 742 to the town site of Tincup and Road 267 from the Tincup town site to Mirror Lake. No dispersed camping would be allowed on spurs either.
Signs would be posted to inform forest visitors of the restrictions, and a Forest Order would be developed to enforce these restrictions. These closures are proposed to protect resources that are being damaged by activities associated with dispersed camping. Damage includes loss of vegetation, soil erosion, sanitation issues and wildlife habitat loss.
1. Dispersed camping is an important component of the high quality recreational opportunities that are synonymous with Tin Cup Pass and the Taylor Park area for a wide range of user groups. Educational efforts should be undertaken to mitigate impacts prior to closing any of the camping sites. These have been highly effective in other areas.
2. Extensive opportunities are available in areas where resources are not negatively impacted for designation of camping sites along routes in the Tin Cup Pass area, and these opportunities must be fully utilized in the designation of camping sites.
3. Any opportunities that might be lost due to closures of dispersed camping should be replaced with designated sights in the area as there currently is a shortage of camping opportunities in the area.
4. If opportunities are not replaced, camping will be pushed into other areas that may expand possible resource impacts.
5. Any personal experiences with camping in this area would be highly valuable!
More info on this project:
Deadline for Comments:
November 18, 2016