Draft land use plan available for public comment

Land issues have been important to the people of Moffat County from the early days of homesteading right up through the present day.

Property rights, land designations, public land management and access have always been and continue to be areas of concern and attention for residents of Moffat County.

The Moffat County Land Use Board has completed a draft of the Moffat County Land Use Plan, and is inviting residents to review and comment on its proposed language.

Currently, 60.07 percent of Moffat County is under federal or state government management and control.

"We're asking for people to take a look at this draft and e-mail us, talk to us, write us a letter or give us a call about their reactions and suggestions concerning this plan," Jeff Comstock, Moffat County Natural Resources Department director, said. "The plan is open to comment until July 27, and we're looking for public comment in any form."

A copy or viewing of the plan can be obtained in three ways: The internet, a hardcopy through the mail, or by attending one of three planned open houses. To comment on the plan, a resident can e-mail the Natural Resources Department, call to comment or make an appointment, send a letter detailing their opinions, or discuss their views with officials at one of the open houses.

"This is a process that started eight months ago," Comstock said. "We hosted three public tours and five town meetings, and a special interest group meeting in November of last year. The information that people contributed helped create this draft version of the Moffat County Land Use Plan.

Residents of Moffat County are encouraged to participate in the public comment process in regards to this draft of the plan.

"We've done our best to incorporate the last six months of public comment, and this document should reflect what the citizens of Moffat County asked to see," he said. "And now people are sure welcome to let us know what they think of this draft, and we'll try to incorporate this next round of comments into the plan."

Because the issues and needs continually change, this plan will be an "everchanging document", one that can be amended and adjusted even after the final draft has been approved, as issues arise or change, Comstock said..

Chapter one of the Land Use Plan is specifically focused on public land use, management and issues, both federal and state run lands. The plan is drafted with the intention of identifying and making recommendations on land use issues that Moffat County has identified as relevant to federal and state land management planning; this document is designed to protect the custom and culture of Moffat County. Important parts of the custom and culture of this county are Agriculture, Recreation and Tourism, Water, Industry and Intangible Values. Another portion of this draft that concerns special land designations has been deterred until late July, when it will also be available for public comment.

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