BLM seeks public comments for preparation of plan to conserve big game habitat and corridors
Lakewood, Colo.– The Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Office is considering an amendment to oil and gas program decisions in existing BLM Colorado resource management plans to promote the conservation of big game corridors and other important big game habitats on BLM-administered land and minerals in Colorado and is seeking public input on its preparation of a statewide Resource Management Plan Amendment with an associated environmental impact statement.
“We are excited to invite the public to participate in amending our resource management plans,” stated Deputy State Director Alan Bittner. “Enhancing wildlife migration corridors and habitat connectivity is a top conservation priority. This amendment will be an innovative step toward better protecting the migratory patterns of Colorado’s big game populations. We look forward to the engagement and efforts of everyone involved.”
The BLM’s planning effort is aligned with the State of Colorado’s big game conservation goals.
“Improving conditions for iconic big game species is a shared priority for Western states and our federal agency partners,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “The Department of Natural Resources is pleased to be working closely with the BLM on this pioneering statewide planning initiative, and on other fronts, to reduce barriers to migration and movement, and conserve key habitat for elk, mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and moose on public lands across Colorado.”
The effort is being initiated to evaluate alternative management approaches for BLM’s planning decisions to maintain, conserve, and protect big game corridors and other important big game habitat areas; to ensure that BLM fulfills its responsibilities under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act; to consider current big game population and habitat data; and to maximize management consistency with plans or policies and programs of other Federal agencies, state and local governments, and Tribes where appropriate.
Tomorrow’s publication of a notice of intent in the Federal Register initiates a 45-day public scoping period. The public may submit comments regarding the scope of the analysis, relevant issues, potential alternatives, and identification of relevant information via the BLM ePlanning website https://go.usa.gov/xzXxY. The BLM will announce the dates of upcoming virtual public meetings on the ePlanning website. The next steps following scoping will include a Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement, the Final Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement, and a Record of Decision.
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.