The Bureau of Land Management Upper Snake Field Office is seeking public input to improve the St. Anthony Sand Dunes for recreational visitors.
The dunes was designated as a recreational area in 1985, said Mike Setlock, outdoor recreation planner. Since then, the area has never had a management plan for recreation, until now. This plan will help the bureau integrate more sustainable and visitor-desired experiences at the area, Setlock said.
“We’re trying to come up with a plan that will satisfy users and management,” Setlock said. “Obviously there’s limits, we can’t create an amusement park or anything that’s going to hurt the resources out there.”
The plan will also include an associated environmental assessment for the Sand Dunes, according to a news release from the bureau.
Setlock said a recreation plan has become a necessity due to how many visitors the dunes attract each year. According to the release, the recreation area at the dunes is 48,607 acres and is a popular off highway vehicle destination that receives over 250,000 visitors each year.
“It’s full every weekend. We have to turn people away,” Setlock said.
The bureau is considering potential management objectives including adding more access points and travel routes for vehicles, Setlock said. He added another example of developing special recreation permits that would allow a variety of activities such as guided tours, vendors to operate at the dunes and competitive events for visitors.
A map of the dunes recreation area and additional information are located on the bureau’s ePlanning website at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2014069/510. To see the latest video of the dunes, use this link: https://bit.ly/3yB3zlX.
Public comments must be submitted in writing either electronically on the ePlanning website or by mail to the Bureau of Land Management Upper Snake Field Office, Attn: Mike Setlock, 1405 Hollipark Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83401. The bureau is requesting comments be submitted before July 9, 2021.
“As use of the St. Anthony Sand Dunes continues to increase, so does the need to develop a comprehensive recreation management plan,” said Upper Snake Field Manager Jeremy Casterson. “It’s important we hear from the public regarding their opinions on how the dunes will be managed in the future.”
For more information, contact Mike Setlock, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-524-7529.