BLM plan focuses on national, local trends

Community members encouraged to share opinions


As of Wednesday, Jeremy Casterson of the Bureau of Land Management's Little Snake Field Office had received one comment about what should be included in the office's new resource management plan.

But the planning and environmental coordinator expects comments to pick up as the BLM hosts three meetings to introduce the public to the issues of importance in the plan.

BLM field offices periodically update their management plans in order to keep management visions up to date with the values of the communities the organization serves, Field Manager John Husband said.

The plan will provide a framework for the management of 1.3 million acres of BLM public land and 1.1 million acres of subsurface mineral estates.

The planning area includes portions of Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties.

Although resource issues in Moffat County have focused on energy development and wilderness designations of late, a much broader scope of issues is at play in the updated plan.

Issues include air quality, fire, livestock grazing and wild horses.

At the meetings, to be held in Craig, Maybell and Steamboat Springs, BLM personnel will set up booths to broadly address these as they relate to interests such as wildlife, recreation and energy development.

The public isn't expected to stay for the entire meeting, Casterson said.

People can stop by at any point during the meeting and comment about specific issues or the planning process in general.

All comments will be sorted by issue, filed and entered into a database. After the comment period closes Jan. 31, the comments will be compiled verbatim in a book that will be a public document.

The comments will be compiled in a 50- to 100-page summary identifying overarching themes from the public.

"Those are the issues we focus on in the (resource management plan)," Casterson said.

The comment period offers the public an avenue to participate in the resource management planning process other than the Northwest Colorado Stewardship, a group that has been working closely with the Little Snake Field Office to develop the management plan.

"NWCOS has been successful in working toward providing a community vision that will benefit the BLM's planning process," Husband said.

"If we're successful, the final plan will be responsive both to national needs and community needs, and help guide BLM decisions into the future."

Those who don't attend the meetings can still comment by email at, or by traditional mail addressed to Jeremy Casterson , 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625.

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