Burro Mountains and Bear Creek Roads Project


The Gila National Forest, Silver City Ranger District has proposed three projects on National Forest System lands. Two projects are located in the Big Burro Mountains west of Silver City, New Mexico.  The third project is located in the Bear Creek area near Pinos Altos, New Mexico.  Projects include:

Road Decommissioning in the Big Burro Mountains

  • Road decommissioning of a portion of already closed roads in the Big Burros is being proposed to restore vegetation, reduce erosion, and restore the road bed to a more natural state. The Ranger District has identified decommissioning roads that are no longer needed for administrative purposes (Big Burro Mountain Map) Decommissioning can include a variety of possible methods to stabilize closed road beds including scarifying, seeding, placing barriers, and restoring drainage in order to change the road’s stability and appearance on the landscape.

ATV Trails in the Big Burros Mountains

  • A suite of ATV trails is currently designated for motorized use in the Big Burro Mountains. ATV trails are motorized routes designated for vehicles 50 inches or less in width. The Forest Service has received many public comments that these trails do not provide the type of recreation opportunity that motorized users desire in the Big Burros.

Bear Creek area transportation system

  • The Gila National Forest recently acquired additional private land in the Bear Creek area near Pinos Altos, NM. Prior to the acquisition, opportunities for designating the transportation system in Bear Creek were limited. Bear Creek Map


  • Finalize motorized routes to be decommissioned in the Big Burros

  • Evaluate current designations of ATV trails in the Big Burros and consider other motorized options 

  • Designate transportation system for Bear Creek area 

  • Collaborate with and engage communities.

Public Involvement:

The Silver City Ranger District recently completed a public outreach to solicit feedback on decommissioning some of the closed roads in the Big Burros. A letter dated August 23, 2018 initiated scoping for the Big Burros Decommissioning Project -- see attached map.

You may provide your comments using the Big Burro Road Decommissioning Project Scoping Comment Form or by emailing your comments to comments-southwestern-gila-silver-city@fs.fed.us. You may also submit your comments in writing on the form and mail them to Silver City Ranger District, 3005 E Camino del Bosque, Silver City, NM. Comments need to be received by September 5, 2018.

For more information, please contact team leaders Tony Ybarra at 575-388-8460, or Carolyn Koury at 575-388-8378.