More ATVers than aliens

  You can search for alien life forms near Roswell, N.M., and not see them, but you can't miss all-terrain vehicles. For the past 20 years, motor-bikers have carved tracks all around 3,530-acre Haystack Mountain. But unfettered roaming may end soon. The Roswell District of the Bureau of Land Management has finished a draft management plan for the Haystack Mountain Off Highway Vehicle Area. Although the plan expands the area to almost 9,000 acres through easement purchases and land exchanges, it confines vehicles to specific trails within the areas, says Howard Parman, an agency spokesman. The BLM is also considering putting in parking lots and public toilets to help manage increasing use, at a total cost of at least $219,000. Critic John Trujillo, vice-chairman of the Chaves County Public Lands Advisory Committee, says he's skeptical of a plan that spends so much on a single user group and adds that the agency only has three rangers and a special agent to monitor the district's 3.1 million acres. "How will they keep the riders confined to the trails in Haystack?" he asks. Agency officials will answer questions at an open house at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 in Roswell. The public comment period will last until Dec. 3.


For information or to send comments, write the Bureau of Land Management, Roswell Resource Area, 2909 W. 2nd, Roswell, NM 88201, or call Paul T. Happel at 505/627-0203.


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