PSR Dine

BLM Proposes to Re-open Portion of Furnace Creek Road

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released on May 10, 2007, a proposed plan amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) plan to re-open a 3.75 mile segment of the Furnace Creek Road in the White Mountains, just north of Death Valley National Park.

Furnace Creek Road has been closed to motorized vehicles under an interim order for more than four years, and it remains closed pending the outcome of the current plan amendment process.  The proposal affects only the lower 3.75 segment of the road that is located on BLM managed lands, whereas the remaining 7.5 miles of the 100+ year old road remain closed by order of the Inyo National Forest.

An earlier environmental assessment put forth an alternative that would have re-opened at the Inyo National Forest boundary the upper 7.5 mile segment of the road to motorized vehicles of less than sixty inches in width.  This would exclude four wheel drive vehicles but still allow motorcycles and ATV's access to the upper reaches of the White Mountains, including Dos Plumas Meadows.

However, because the planning process is being conducted jointly by the BLM and INF, the process has been confusing and when the road will actually reopen is still anyone's guess.  In the meantime, DeathValley.com supports restoring motorized access to the historic Furnace Creek Road and urges the Inyo National Forest to bring its closure to an end – like the BLM is doing, albeit slowly.