Time to influence future of BLM lands

Dear DOE: Clean up before start up!
May 30, 2013
Parachute Creek spill overview
May 30, 2013

Time to influence future of BLM lands

adobe badlands_3

Barbara Hawke, with The Wilderness Society, shares her knowledge of endangered plants with hike participants.

by Emily Hornback, WCC Organizer

The BLM is releasing three different Draft Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that will set the management framework for our public lands for the next 20 years. Over the coming months, all three of these documents will be open for public comment before the BLM issues the final versions.

RMPs are large-scale plans that establish major decisions for the multiple use mandate, including what areas are open for energy development, Wild and Scenic River designations, travel for motorized and quiet use, and much more.  We are surrounded by these lands and the BLM needs to hear our local voice!

The Grand Junction RMP is currently published and open for public comment until June 24th.  This RMP will impact 1 million acres in Mesa and Garfield Counties, with smaller acreage in Montrose and Rio Blanco Counties.

A key issue within this RMP is promoting a sustainable and common sense travel management plan. The BLM is making an effort to reduce overall road density, actively manage off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and reduce conflicts with quiet trail users.   Conservation allies are uniting to protect lands with wilderness characteristics, areas of critical environmental concern and designations that will protect large tracts of land from destructive uses.  We also hope to use the RMP process to build a solid foundation for a National Conservation Area along the Northern Dolores River. For more information about key issues within the Grand Junction RMP, click here!

The Uncompahgre RMP is expected for release in early July, and will impact 680,000 acres in Delta, Montrose, San Miguel and Ouray Counties.  We anticipate that key issues in this draft will include big decisions around oil and gas, as well as uranium and other leasable minerals. This RMP will also be an opportunity to advance the Citizens’ Alternative for oil & gas drilling plans in the North Fork of the Gunnison River.

Hikes are already being lead into critical areas to help raise awareness about what is at stake in the Uncompahgre Field Office. In July, WCC and allies will be holding an RMP workshop to help citizens learn about these resource issues.  Stay tuned for more information about how to participate!

The Dominquez –Escalante National Conservation Area is a special management zone and thus merits its own RMP, which was released on May 17.  This is our opportunity to promote a sound management plan that will honor the wilderness values and cultural resources that WCC has worked so hard to protect in the past.
Many of the campaigns and issues that WCC members have championed for decades will be impacted by these RMPs. The BLM needs LOCAL INPUT and gives more weight to local comments than those generated by national organizations so your voice is invaluable.

WCC’s Public Lands Committee is meeting monthly to work on these different RMPs and is implementing a plan of action.   Please contact Emily Hornback at emily@wccongress.org to get involved!

Check the Calendar for more planned RMP hikes.

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