Irwin & Tincup Dispersed Camping Closures #NP-1436

NOTE: Public comments are carefully considered by the Forest Service. The purpose of comments is to help the agency identify issues and alternatives related to the proposed action. The agency does not tally public comments in favor/against any action in the manner of a "vote". The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) is proposing to close the Irwin area, north of Crested Butte, CO, and the Tincup area, southeast of Taylor Reservoir, to dispersed camping from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Camping in campgrounds will still be allowed at the Lake Irwin and Mirror Lake Campgrounds. These areas are receiving increasing numbers of dispersed campers, user-created roads and spurs and successional occupation from Memorial Day to after Labor Day. Additionally, increased use motor vehicles off the designated roads, trailers and motor-homes with associated group camping are causing significant impacts. In the Irwin area, the closure would prohibit dispersed camping within a half mile of National Forest System Roads (NFSR) #826.1D (south of the private land) and NFSR #826.1D1. In the Tincup area, the closure would prohibit dispersed camping within a half mile of NFSRs #765 from its junction with County Road 742 to the town site of Tincup and NFSR #267 from the Tincup town site to Mirror Lake. No dispersed camping would be allowed on spurs as well, including: NFSR #901.1A, #765.1A, #765.4A, #765.4B, #765.4D, #765.1B, #765.B1, #765.1C, #765.C1, #765.1D, and #765.1G. The half mile buffer off of NFSR #765 would also prohibit dispersed camping on portions of NFSRs #587, #725, and #953.1A1. Signs would be posted to inform forest visitors of the restrictions and a Forest Order developed to enforce these restrictions. These closures are proposed to protect resources that are being damaged by activities associated with dispersed camping. Damages include loss of vegetation, soil erosion, sanitation issues, and wildlife habitat loss.

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