U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
|Release Date: 02/22/12|
BLM Seeks Input on Blanca Wetlands Area Expansion (02-22-12)
The Blanca Wetlands area was designated an ACEC for its recreation and wetland values, including playa and marsh habitats containing large populations of water birds, amphibians, macroinvertebrates, and 13 threated, endangered and sensitive species.
As part of this project, the BLM will complete an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze the potential impacts of enlarging the Wetlands ACEC. The EA will also evaluate cattle grazing on the Lakes, Dry Lakes and Blanca Wetlands allotments.
“Blanca Wetlands is one of the San Luis Valley’s gems,” said San Luis Valley Field Manager Andrew Archuleta. “The public’s input on this project is important to helping shape how we manage this special area.”
The SLFVO is hosting an open house to hear from the public and share information. The open house is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the SLV Regional Medical Center Education and Conference Center (east of the Grizzly Inn), 1919 Main St., Alamosa, Colo.
The public is invited to comment at the open house or in writing before March 16, 2012. BLM will use that input to identify issues to be addressed in the EA. Be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to withhold any personal information.
Comments may be mailed to the Bureau of Land Management, (Attn. Jill Lucero), 15571 County Rd. T.5, La Jara, CO 81140 or e-mailed to BLM_CO_SLVPLC_Comments@blm.gov
For maps and more information about this project, visit the SLVFO website at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/slvfo/blanca_wetlands.htm or call Jill Lucero, BLM Wildlife Biologist at 719-274-6327.
What is Blanca Wetlands?
What is an ACEC?
Why expand the ACEC?
This research also suggested a need to create connectivity from Blanca Wetlands north to allow less mobile species the ability to disperse. This irrigated connection would allow wetland species to move freely between larger environments and help to restore key wetland habitats native to the area. Such restoration would require easements, acquisitions, or other efforts with willing landowners. This ACEC expansion will provide an opportunity for BLM to work with willing land owners to acquire parcels important for wetland connectivity or restoration efforts, potentially benefitting more than 160 bird species, 5 species of amphibians, and threatened and endangered species.
How will the expansion work?
What is an Environmental Assessment (EA)?
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
1803 West Highway 160 Monte Vista, CO 81144
|Last updated: 02-23-2012|
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