From Palo Duro Canyon to Lake Meredith, we have a few options here on the High Plains for nature seekers to experience the great outdoors.
The Bureau of Land Management is working with the community to create another option.
“I think we get better public policy when we engage the public and help understand,” said Tim Casey, Ph.D., Public Lands Recreational Research Partnership.
That’s why the Bureau of Land Management is having a series of focus groups to hear what the community wants them to do with the thousands of acres of land at Cross Bar Ranch.
It’s a conversation that’s been in the works for a few years.
“We just haven’t had public access to this 12,500-acre ranch. There is a huge public interest in getting public access to this ranch. That’s why we’re having these meetings to kind of see what the public wants to focus on, what they want to see with this public land, their public land and what they would want to use the land for,” said Crystal Cowan, Public Affairs Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management.
Officials said the ranch would offer the community another opportunity for outdoor recreation including camping, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
But everyone has their own personal preference.
“Me personally, I would like to see increased hunting opportunities for local residents on that property. We’re losing hunters every year and so a place that’s close that gives the opportunity for youth and non-traditional hunters to have an opportunity to recreate,” said James Hoskins, Attendee.
The ranch is about 30 minutes north of Downtown Amarillo and has a long process ahead.
“Right now we do not have a road to the land, we’re working on an estimate on what that would cost and how to get that going. It is in the planning stages. And then again we want to make it accessible to the public,” said Cowan.
She said when there’s access they can then begin to build trails, parking lots, and more.
If you couldn’t come to a focus group and want to share your input on what should be done with the land, you’re asked to contact the Bureau of Land Management here in Amarillo at (806) 356-1000.
They’re located at 801 S Fillmore St, Amarillo, TX 79101.