FARMINGTON — Jeeps, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, all-terrain vehicles and horses are welcome in the Glade.

But a possible policy shift could change where those different user groups could ride in the future.

The Bureau of Land Management Farmington field office held a meeting Thursday evening at San Juan College about travel changes in the Glade Run Recreation Area.

Glade Run is a more than 21,000-acre recreation area north of Farmington that sees between 30,000 to 35,000 users a year.

The BLM is considering changing rules for traveling in the area because of a rising number of different types of users.

The agency published a list of three alternative travel plans last month and is currently seeking public opinion on them.

"You have to put something down on paper so the public can react," said Gary Torres, the district manager of the BLM's Farmington field office. "We could have kept talking about this forever. I thought it was time to put something in writing and say Here was our best shot.'"

The entire recreation area currently has 3,800 acres open for cross-country travel in an off-highway vehicle. In the remaining 17,700 acres, travel is limited to certain trails. There are 196 miles of different types of trail in that area.

The BLM has designed three alternatives to managing Glade Run. Each of the alternatives creates recreation management zones that will attempt to segregate user groups.

The agency's preferred alternative would reduce the open cross-country travel area to 3,300 acres.


It would close most of a 5,700-acre swath of the remaining land to motorized vehicles, leaving it open only to mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. That alternative also allows for motorized trail riding on about 12,000 acres of land.

Grant Glover, a mountain-biking enthusiast who lives in Flora Vista, said separating motorized vehicles from mountain biking trails is necessary because motorized vehicles damage mountain biking trails.

Motorized riders had mixed opinions about the BLM's alternatives. Some agreed there should be trails designated for particular uses, and others were against any restriction.

"I don't want any of it closed to anyone," said Dustin Garrison, a Bloomfield resident whose immediate family owns 10 off-highway vehicles. "There's bad apples in every group. But if you had bad apples, arrest the bad apples."

James Simmons, of Farmington, uses Glade Run for mountain biking, hiking and dirt biking. He agreed with separating the groups.

"A Jeep can ruin a trail for a four-wheeler, a four-wheeler can ruin a trail for a motorcycle and a motorcycle can ruin it for a mountain bike," he said. "I would say set some designated areas for the different user groups. And the public should try to get involved and try to take ownership and pride of their area and make it nice."

Allen Christy, a member of the San Juan Trail Riders Association, said motorcycle and dirt bike riders are poised to suffer if the BLM's preferred alternative is put in place because several existing motorized, single-track trails would be lost.

The BLM's preferred alternative calls for 13 miles of trail designated for only dirt bikes and motorcycles.

"The problem is that the BLM thinks motorcyclists want to ride on the same trail as the ATVs. We don't. We still want a single-track," he said.

Christy said his group will request a loop traveling from Flora Vista to the western part of Glade Run that is designated for two-wheeled motor vehicles. They would also want the ability to build new trails in exchange for closing 5,700 acres to motorized vehicles.

"Right now, it's heavily unbalanced, in our opinion, in favor of non-motorized users," Christy said. "As long as the BLM is willing to work with us to replace the trails that would be lost, we're OK with it."

Ryan Boetel can be reached at; 564-4644. Follow him on Twitter: @rboetel.