On June 21, the BLM’s Draft Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement was released. The 90-day public comment period ends on September 20. This is an opportunity to shape the long-term sustainability plan by commenting to the agency!
Why Should You Comment?
Resource Management Plans describes broad multiple-use guidance for managing lands and federal mineral estate administered by the BLM . They allocate resources and determine appropriate uses for public lands, they develop a strategy to manage and protect resources, and they establish a system to monitor and evaluate resources. The Plan will determine the management of the lands for 10 years or more! So it is critical that the Plan provide a best-known science, conservation-based foundation to make these decisions from. If you want Eastern Colorado to be ecologically sound for generations to come, please comment!
How to Comment
Comments can be submitted online and are due by September 20. See talking points for comments below.
Attend BLM Open Houses
The BLM is hosting public meetings for the Draft Easter Colorado RMP/EIS. Check out their website for a list of those meetings, and before attending, please check for updates or changes.
Talking Points for Comments:
Here are some talking points you can use when you submit your comments. Use some or all as you see fit but be sure to put them in your own words. Copying and pasting these talking points could result in your comments not being read and counted as individual comments. For more information about submitting comments that stick, check out our checklist (en Español).
- Protecting wilderness quality lands is the most important thing BLM can do to prevent extinction, support biodiversity, and keep Colorado resilient in the face of a changing climate.
- I do not support the preferred alternative that protects the wilderness characteristics less than 1% of over 190,000 acres of LWCs identified by BLM. BLM received substantial substantive comments supporting LWCs in the previous two public comment periods.
- I support BLM protecting the following priority areas identified as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC): Echo Canyon, Badger Creek (North & South), North of Coaldale, Bear Mountain, Eightmile Mountain, Red Canyon, Cooper Mountain, and Cucharas Canyon. [The best comments will focus on specific places, not just a list. You can find information about each of these places here.]
- I do not support reducing the acreage of lands protected as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs). Portions of Wilderness Study Areas currently within ACECs should continue to be protected as ACECs. Wilderness Study Areas do not have all the protections provided by ACECs.
- I support protecting Backcountry Conservation Areas to protect areas important for bighorn sheep and other big game species. Protecting lands for big game species protects numerous animal and plant species that rely on those lands.
- I support closing wilderness quality and lands with ACEC values to energy development. None of these lands have high potential for Oil & Gas development. Over 85% of BLM surface ownership lands in the planning area have no or low potential for development. Closing low potential lands to leasing has essentially no negative impact on energy production, while it has tremendous positive impacts on other resources.
Resources to Help
Article: “BLM’s Eastern Colorado Draft Resource Management Plan ignores public input, fails to protect critical wildlife habitat and favorite outdoor recreation spots” John Sztukowski. Medium. July 19, 2019.
Fact Sheet prepared by Wild Connections with information and more talking points.
Observations made by our citizen scientists during the Arkansas River Corridor Bioblitz.
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