BLM Seeks Public Input on Proposed Rights-of-Way Applications for Improvements to Dripping Springs and Baylor Canyon Roads
Las Cruces, NM – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking comments on a proposed environmental assessment (EA) for Doña Ana County’s rights-of-way application to upgrade and realign portions of Dripping Springs Road and Baylor Canyon Road. The roads are located east of Las Cruces, New Mexico near the Organ Mountains and would involve 4.9 miles of roadway improvements.
In order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the BLM will analyze environmental impacts of the proposed road improvements in an EA. The NEPA process is intended to help public officials make decisions that are based on understanding of environmental consequences, and take actions that protect, restore, and enhance the environment.
Improvements proposed include roadway paving, drainage improvements, and where possible, straightening curves. Also proposed is realignment of curves at a windmill location along Baylor Canyon Road and at the intersection of Dripping Springs and Baylor Canyon Roads. The new roads would be constructed for all-weather/year-round use, and would have two 12-foot driving lanes with 4-foot shoulders. The proposed project is tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2016.
Two Federal agencies are participating in the NEPA process. While the BLM is considering a proposal to authorize the road improvements, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would authorize the expenditure of the funding for the road improvements. The funding is provided from FHWA’s Federal Lands Access Program, which funds work on public roadways located on, or provide access to, Federal lands.
Public comment will be accepted until December 4, 2015. Comments can be mailed to the BLM Las Cruces District Office, Attention: Frances Martinez, 1800 Marquess Street, Las Cruces, NM
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.