BLM Proposes Changes To King Range
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing changes that will effect access to the King Range Conservation Area. The plan looks to limit access, establish an access fee and increase their campsite fee.
The King Range Business Plan, drafted by BLM, will limit access to the area to 60 visitors in the summer and 30 over the winter. The plan establishes a five dollar access fee and increases the campsite fee from eight dollars to 15.
Justin Robbins, an Outdoor Recreation Planner for BLM said more people have been going into the King Range and the changes are designed to preserve the area.
"Folks live very busy lives and they need a place to be able to go and obtain an experience with solitude," said Robbins.
Robbins said the agency wants to maintain the ideas behind the Wilderness Act that was designed to leave areas away from development.
"Folks tend to come to the wilderness area to experience solitude, naturalness, undevelopedness, primitive and unconfined recreation," said Robbins.
Wesley Smith, of the Humboldt Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, said that he does not agree with limiting access over winter.
"It's a real low use period, and surfers, mountain bikers, hunters, we tend to use it than they propose the restrictions on," said Smith.
The access numbers are based off a survey conducted over the summer use. Smith said that more than 30 locals go into the King Range during winter, and believes the numbers should be the same as summer access. Smith also said he disagrees with the rule in place that limits camping to only 14 days per year.
"When you hit fourteen [days] that's it, and that doesn't make much since for a lot of locals," said Smith.
Public comment on the topic has been extended till October 31st.