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Release Date: 02/26/14
Contacts: Kyle Sullivan, Public Affairs Specialist, 719-269-8553    

BLM Launches San Luis Valley/Taos Plateau Study

MONTE VISTA, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management San Luis Valley Field Office and BLM Taos Field Office announce the launch of the San Luis Valley/Taos Plateau Study: Landscape Assessment and Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy. The study will help the BLM to ensure environmentally responsible solar energy development on public lands through long-term planning.

The first phase of the study is a Landscape Assessment, which will use existing data on the ecological values, trends and conditions in the geographic area covering Colorado’s San Luis Valley and New Mexico’s Taos Plateau (~6,115,000 acres). The Landscape Assessment will increase knowledge of the potential impacts and cumulative effects of change (i.e. human development, climate change, invasive species) on important ecological, cultural and socioeconomic values.

The information, maps and tools provided by the Landscape Assessment will be used in the second phase of the study, which is the development of a Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy.  The mitigation strategy is intended to help facilitate solar energy development on Solar Energy Zones in Colorado by simplifying and improving the mitigation process for future projects.

The BLM invites federal, state and local agencies and the public to provide recommendations and references of existing reports and data to help inform the Landscape Assessment and the BLM Colorado Solar Regional Mitigation Strategy.

Interested parties can learn more by visiting the project website: or by contacting Joseph Vieira, Project Manager at 719-852-6213 or

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. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 05-05-2014