BLM gets feedback on plan

The local Bureau of Land Management office took the second step last night in updating its resource management plan for the 1.3 million acres it oversees.

It was the second of three meetings the Little Snake Field Office is hosting in the Yampa Valley while completing the scoping phase of the RMP. The meetings provided people with the opportunity to comment on the issues they feel are important on public land in Northwest Colorado.

The resource management plan the Little Snake Field Office in operating under was developed in 1989, Field Office Director John Husband said.

"We're deciding what uses are allowed where and by what guidelines," Husband said.

Booths staffed by BLM employees featured information about the resource management planning process, energy and minerals, cultural and paleontological issues, special management areas and wilderness characteristics, and wildlife.

On Tuesday, about 60 people attended the scoping meeting in Steamboat Springs. Jeremy Casterson, resource management plan coordinator, said he was pleased with the turnout.

Casterson thought a healthy mix of conservationists and land use advocates were attending the meetings. Popular topics included energy development, special land designations and travel management.

Employees manning the information booths voiced similar opinions. At the energy development booth, Fred Conrath said members of the public were concerned that energy development would disturb some areas, while others worried about energy development being shut down.

All comments received by Jan. 31 will be included in the field office's scoping report.

By the fall of 2006, the field office hopes to complete work on a draft resource management plan and an environmental impact statement. The final statement and proposed plan should be completed by the summer of 2007.

Opportunities to comment about the process will be offered through the plan's development, Husband said,

Comments can be mailed to Casterson at 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625 or e-mailed to colsrmp@blm.gov.

A third meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today in Maybell at the Maybell School gym.

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