BLM director visits Craig

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One of the nation's top public lands officials met with a local land management group Wednesday in Craig.

Bureau of Land Management director Kathleen Clarke met with the Northwest Colorado Stewar-dship group Wednesday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds pav-ilion.

NWCOS is expected to play a major role in the Resource Management Plan for BLM's Little Snake Resource Management area. The group is made up of ranchers, energy industry officials and representatives from environmental groups.

The Little Snake RMP, which is expected to be complete by January 2008, will guide public land use for Northwest Colorado for the next twenty years.

Clarke discussed the group's role in shaping the RMP and the current financial status of the bureau.

Clarke is in Colorado for a few days meeting with local BLM officials.

She said although the bureau manages 262 million acres of public lands, each individual acre is important.

"There isn't one acre someone doesn't love and isn't willing to go to court over," Clarke told the crowd of about 40 people.

NWCOS members briefed Clarke on the status of the group's work, which began two years ago. The deadline for the group's recommendations is Aug. 5.

The NWCOS members said one of the problems facing them is reaching a consensus.

Clarke cautioned the group against making political trade-offs to reach consensus because BLM may not follow all sides of a compromise.

She said it is important for them to remember they are only advising the BLM and that some of their recommendations may not be followed in the final RMP.

Steve Hinkemeyer of Trapper Mine said Clarke's recommendations concerning reaching a consensus would have been helpful earlier in the process because the group spent a few meetings discussing how they would reach consensus.

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