The BLM is currently preparing a management plan for the Río Grande del Norte National Monument (National Monument). The National Monument plan will amend the Taos Resource Management Plan, approved in 2012.
The National Monument plan will provide management direction to ensure the protection and restoration of cultural, ecological, geological, and wildlife values and their associated landscapes for which the National Monument was designated. The plan will also consider opportunities for continued traditional uses of the National Monument lands and resources, including wood gathering, livestock grazing, and recreation, as well as the potential for new land use authorizations.
In order to identify planning issues and concerns that should be considered during the development of the National Monument plan, the BLM conducted public scoping, the initial step in the planning process. The public scoping period ended on March 6, 2014, during which the BLM received 1,236 comment submissions by mail and email, including 126 unique comment letters and 1,110 form letters from a wide variety public interests.
A detailed Scoping Report has been prepared and is now available. This report summarizes the specific comments received during the scoping period and identifies the issues and management concerns to be addressed in the Monument plan.
The Scoping Report will provide a basis for the management decisions considered and analyzed within a reasonable range of alternatives in an environmental assessment (EA). A draft EA, which will present the draft Monument plan and other options, is expected to be completed by the BLM and made available for public review and comment in the winter of 2015.
Current Management Activities
Special Recreation Permits for Non-motorized Competitive Events in the Río Grande del Norte National Monument
The BLM proposes to issue three Special Recreation Permits to applicants for non-motorized competitive events (trail running and mountain biking) in the Taos Valley Overlook and Wild Rivers areas of the National Monument. An environmental assessment evaluating this proposal (see below) was available for public review during this past summer and is currently being revised in response to public comments. The BLM anticipates finalizing the EA and making a decision on the proposal soon. For more information, contact Planning and Environmental Specialist Brad Higdon at 575-751-4725.