On June 3 the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office (BLM UFO) released its Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for approximately 675,000 acres in western Colorado. The 90-day public comment period ends on September 1, 2016. An RMP details the current state of resources and guides management actions for the next twenty or so years under the BLM dual mandate of multiple use and sustained yield. The Planning Area consists of about 675,800 acres of BLM administered public lands and 971,220 acres of federal subsurface mineral estate in Delta, Gunnison, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel Counties in southwestern Colorado. The planning area does not include the Gunnison Gorge or Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Areas, which are managed under separate RMPs. Public participation during the planning process is critical for an effective plan.

HCCA will be engaging in the RMP development process to the extent that it impacts lands and resources in Gunnison County, especially the Upper North Fork Valley. Click here for a map of the BLM UFO planning area to see where it overlaps with Gunnison County. HCCA’s greatest concerns at this point are coal and natural gas issues in the RMP. We are analyzing the pertinent documents, coordinating with our conservation allies, and will be submitting specific comments to the BLM concerning impacts to lands, waters and resohurces in Gunnison County. If you have questions about this issue, please contact Matt Reed, Public Lands Director, at matt@hccacb.org.

Written comments will be most effective if they are specific to the proposal or analysis and are received by September 1, 2016. Please submit comments by email to uformp@blm.gov or by mail to the BLM, Uncompahgre Field Office, 2465 S. Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401.