Monday, July 28, 2014

Ouray County Adopts a Road Map for the 21st Century

Despite an eleventh hour interjection from the U.S. Forest Service, the Ouray County Commissioners made history this week, unanimously voting to adopt a new county road map that brings it into the 21st century. The last time an official county road map was prepared in Ouray County was in 1961. Proposed revisions to this 1961 iteration of the map took place over the past five years, first through the work of the collaborative, multi-jurisdictional Public Access Group and later through two years of intensive work by Ouray County IT/GIS Manager Jeff Bockes, who integrated modern computerized mapping techniques (including GoogleEarth) and historical information on public roads going all the way back into the 1800s. The process of adopting the revised map turned out to be quite lengthy. Commissioners first held a public hearing on June 25 to consider its adoption. This hearing was continued to July 1 on the request of Commissioner Don Batchelder to receive legal advice as to what kind of legal exposure the county may face upon map adoption. The hearing continuation was again continued to Tuesday, July 22, this time to reopen public comment pertaining to specific, documented requests for additions or deletions of roads included in the map. Ouray District Ranger Tammy Randall-Parker of the U.S. Forest Service took advantage of the reopened public comment period to weigh in with a number of concerns pertaining to the map. These concerns primarily had to do with the correct identification of the ownership of Forest Service roads included on it...more

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