Now we're too frickin noisy? Too many Boulderites and Californians moving into this damn valley. BLM to restrict off-highway vehicle noise in Bangs Canyon Wednesday, August 24, 2005 By SALLY SPAULDING The Daily Sentinel The Environmental Assessment released earlier this week by the Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office for the Bangs Canyon Recreation Area includes the most stringent noise regulation on BLM land in Colorado. The management document, when implemented, would restrict off-highway vehicle noise in the 58,000-acre area just five miles southwest of Grand Junction. “This is the first rule of its kind on BLM land in Colorado,” said Britta Laub, recreation program manager for the bureau’s Grand Junction Field Office. “We’ve really tried to build in noise controls in this, especially since the recreation area is so close to town.” Older vehicles or vehicles with altered engines produce more noise than newer, factory-made ones. (no sh*t, really?) Some enthusiasts of the sport worry the plan could change what models and years of vehicles are allowed on the trail system. The sound limit, Laub said, would be enforced by bureau employees using an instrument to measure the decibel level of machines in Bangs Canyon. The limit is roughly equal to the quantity of sound produced by a normal street-driven car, she said. Some local off-highway vehicle enthusiasts say the regulation doesn’t bother them. “It won’t affect most of us out there who are on regular machines that will fall within the decibel limit,” said Jacque Gaskill, a member of the Western Slope ATV Association. In addition to decibel levels, the Environmental Assessment calls for new trails in the area to be located where natural sound barriers exist between trails and nearby private lands. On trails closest to private land, Laub said, the bureau has proposed closing access from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. to keep noise to a minimum. Additional provisions under the Environmental Assessment call for the closing of older trails and the addition of newer trails. “With the growth the valley has seen, some of the historic trails in Bangs Canyon just aren’t in the best location,” said Mel Lloyd, spokeswoman for the bureau’s Grand Junction field office. “We’ll have a newer system of smarter trails under this plan.” The bureau is taking public comment on the assessment through Sept. 23. For additional information on the process or for information on how to submit a comment, contact Laub at 970-244-3031. I think we should all call the BLM and complain about the smell level of patchouli on our trails, maybe that will cut down on the hippification of the west.