BLM approves new Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Royal Gorge Field Office

Media Contact:

Levi Spellman

CAÑON CITY, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management recently signed a record of decision to update resource management planning guidance for about 658,200 surface acres and 3.3 million acres of mineral estate in eastern Colorado. The agency’s Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan strikes a balance between multiple land-use priorities and replaces two outdated management plans from the 1980s and 1990s.

“This plan represents the culmination of countless hours of input and discussion from South Park to the Arkansas River Valley to the Eastern Plains. It restores balance to the management of public lands and strengthens our commitment to government-to-government relationships with Tribal Nations,” said BLM Colorado State Director Doug Vilsack. “Under this plan, public lands will continue to be an economic driver of communities while we protect resources and improve access to recreation for all.”

Adhering to the BLM’s multiple-use mandate, the updated plan accounts for the resources and cultural values of local communities. After inviting counsel from 17 Tribal Nations and soliciting public input, the plan includes several specific goals that incorporate equity and environmental justice in the management of eastern Colorado’s public lands. The plan increases conservation of public lands and waters while also maintaining access to mineral resources and promoting the creation of long-term, sustainable jobs for America’s working families.

In the South Park area, substantial input from local government, residents, and conservation organizations led to specific protections for unique wildlife, fisheries, and groundwater sources. In the Arkansas River Valley, public lands are protected for traditional use and for wildland characteristics, while recreational opportunities are enhanced through the creation of special recreation management areas and backcountry conservation areas. To help manage energy operations in eastern Colorado, the new plan removes minimal-yield areas from leasing consideration, focusing future development in areas of meaningful production potential.

“It can be challenging to manage such a large and diverse area,” said BLM Rocky Mountain District Manager Cathy Cook. “This plan will help us provide the most benefit to the people we serve—now, and in the future,”

The plan will publish tomorrow in the Federal Register. The plan and its associated documents available for public viewing at

For more information, please contact project manager John Smeins at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.