In the Spotlight
October 2014 Oil and Gas Lease Sale
The Taos Field Office seeks public input on a proposal to lease 16 parcels of oil and gas minerals, totaling about 13,300 acres of Federal mineral estate, within Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. Click here for more information.
Commnet Embudo Wireless Communications Tower Project
The Taos Field Office approved the Commnet Embudo Wireless Communications Tower Project (see below) and issued Commnet Wireless Four Corners, LLC a right-of-way grant to carry out this project. The right-of-way grant provides for a communications tower to be constructed on public lands near the communities of Dixon and Embudo in Rio Arriba County. For more information, contact Mike Rodriguez at 575-751-4708.
Chimayó Water Tank Project
The BLM is currently finalizing the environmental assessment (EA) (see below) for the proposed Chimayó Water Tank Project in response to public comments. The EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts from a proposal by the Greater Chimayó Mutual Domestic Water Consumer Association to construct a 100,000-gallon water tank on public lands adjacent to the village of Chimayó. The BLM anticipates finalizing the EA and making a decision on the proposal by the end of this year. For more information, contact Brad Higdon at 575-751-4725.
Travel Management Planning to Begin Soon for El Palacio and Sombrillo Areas
The Taos Field Office is preparing to initiate a travel management planning process for El Palacio and Sombrillo transportation areas of Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties. This area-specific planning process is preceded by the approval of the Taos Resource Management Plan (RMP) in May 2012, which allocated these areas as “limited to designated routes” and established criteria for designating routes. The planning process will be initiated this fall and will include the following basic steps in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act:
- Route Inventory Validation (with public input).
- Scoping (issue and alternative identification by the public and the BLM).
- Environmental Assessment Preparation (including public review and comment).
- Approval of a Travel Management Plan by the BLM.
- Implementation and Enforcement.
To kick off the planning process, the public will soon be provided an opportunity to review data on existing routes and help validate the accuracy of the inventory. The BLM is also hoping the public will provide information on the uses of the routes during this initial step. Stay tuned for more information.
Proposed Sabinoso Wilderness Management Plan and Environmental Assessment
The BLM is currently finalizing the Proposed Sabinoso Wilderness Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) (see below) in response to public comments. This EA analyzes management guidance for resource values and resource uses within the Sabinoso Wilderness, located in San Miguel County. The proposal includes management of wilderness characteristics, recreational access, cultural and paleontological resources, livestock grazing, and fire management. A decision on the wilderness management plan is anticipated to be made based on the final EA by the end of summer 2013. For more information, please contact Tami Torres at 575-758-8851.
Taos Resource Management Plan
The Taos Resource Management Plan, now approved, is prepared to provide broad-scale direction for the management of public lands in northern New Mexico administered by the Taos Field Office.