As the Inyo National Forest sifts through the public comments on the route designation process that could close off 900 out of 3000 miles of dirt roads and tracks, a similar process has begun in the Bridgeport Ranger District.
Much of the district is in Nevada, but areas near Virginia Lakes and the Sweetwater Mountains are in Mono County and popular with local residents. Areas of Nevada near the old Aurora mining district are also included in this plan.
On the Inyo, 1200 miles of dirt roads are already in the Forest Service road system, another 900 are proposed to be added, while 900 could be closed to vehicles. David Loomis with the Bridgeport Ranger District, explained that there are currently 1500 miles of dirt roads in the official system. 300 miles could be added, leaving 500 miles of dirt roads and jeep trails that may end up closed off.
Loomis says that many of the roads in question are on private land, others dont have a purpose. Some roads slated to officially become unofficial are related to old mines or just a motorized track through the sage. Few will miss some of these roads, but others are spurs that could lead to a favorite spot to camp, hike or hunt.
At this upcoming series of public meetings, the Forest Service is looking for comments on the proposal. Like the Inyo National Forest route designation process, maps are the key to understanding how the proposal will play out on the ground. Those maps are available on the Bridgeport Ranger District website.
Public meetings have been held in Nevada. A meeting to discuss this road plan for the Bridgeport Ranger District is scheduled to run 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Tuesday December 9th, at Memorial Hall in Bridgeport.