CANON CITY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office recently announced the release of its draft plan for managing BLM-administered surface land and mineral estate in eastern Colorado.
The BLM is seeking public comments on the four alternative management scenarios analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan. The preferred alternative allows for sustainably developing energy and natural resources and increasing access to minerals, renewable energy, livestock grazing, right-of-way development, and recreation.
These public lands generate up to 1,400 jobs and $370 million in regional revenue annually, primarily through recreation, agriculture, and energy development.
“Our partners and constituents have provided valuable input throughout this process,” said BLM Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger. “Their perspectives are critical and we want to ensure that the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan is responsive to their needs.”
The Royal Gorge Field Office currently operates under the 1996 Royal Gorge Resource Area Resource Management Plan and the 1986 Northeast Resource Management Plan. The Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan will replace the two plans and guide management decisions for about 658,200 surface acres and 3.3 million acres of mineral estate in 37 counties in eastern Colorado.
The alternatives in the Draft RMP are compatible with existing plans and policies of adjacent local, state, and federal agencies. The alternatives also conform with federal laws and regulations that govern resource management on public lands.
In addition, the RMP will recognize valid existing rights, including grazing permits, archaeological and paleontological permits, and recreation permits.
The formal 90-day public comment period for the Draft Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement began with the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register. During this time, the document will be available for review on the BLM’s ePlanning website, go.usa.gov/xQcZT.
BLM staff will be hosting public open house events during the formal comment period, where the public will be invited to discuss the plan with BLM staff specialists. Meetings are currently scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates. If changes occur to the meeting schedule, updates can be found on the ePlanning website.
July 18: Golden at the Denver Marriott West, 1717 Denver West Boulevard
July 22: Colorado Springs at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W Bijou Street
July 23: Greeley at the Greeley Recreation Center, 651 10th Avenue
Comments can also be submitted through the BLM’s ePlanning website, go.usa.gov/xQcZT. They must be received by Sept. 20.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or any other personal identifying information in your comments, be advised that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request the BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.