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Over 1,000 acres to close near Apache Junction for work on new Goldfield Recreation Area

The Bureau of Land Management will begin construction work on a new recreation area in the East Valley in February.

The Goldfield Recreation Area is located near Apache Junction, a popular destination for bikers, hikers, campers and horseback riders. It is also close to Lost Dutchman State Park, Goldfield Ghost Town and busy trailheads.

The agency has received a lot of feedback on the project, from public comments that led the agency to change its plans for an equestrian area to questions about unhoused people camping there.

"But we did receive input from the public, asking to make it a non-motorized recreation area. And basically the difference would be that it would allow mountain bikes in that area as well. So, it would be a non-motorized area, for equestrian, pedestrian and mountain bikes," said Chris Wonderly with the BLM.

On Feb. 5, the BLM will begin construction, and close more than 1,000 acres for the next two years.

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Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.