BLM seeks public input for plan supporting Gunnison sage-grouse recovery
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a plan to preserve and enhance habitat for eight Gunnison sage-grouse populations on public lands across southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. Gunnison sage-grouse are a federally protected species distinct from the greater sage-grouse, and only inhabit portions of Colorado and Utah. This planning effort is separate from the BLM’s greater sage-grouse planning effort.
To develop the draft plan, the BLM evaluated 11 existing land use plans to identify management actions with potential to impact Gunnison sage-grouse populations and habitat. The draft details five alternative management approaches for addressing the habitat and conservation needs of the species, in balance with the many other resources and activities the BLM manages for, including recreation, livestock grazing, lands and realty, wildland and prescribed fire, and energy and minerals.
“Public feedback during this comment period is critical in shaping our management that benefits this threatened species,” said BLM Colorado State Director Doug Vilsack. “Public input on the draft will help us finalize an approach that allows for the Gunnison sage-grouse population to recover—and perhaps eventually be removed from Endangered Species Act listing—while continuing the important work the BLM does to manage public lands on behalf of the American people.”
The Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Draft Environmental Impact Statement analyze management issues and incorporate recommendations from the 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Final Recovery Plan For Gunnison Sage-Grouse.
A Notice of Availability will publish in tomorrow’s Federal Register to begin a 90-day public comment period that ends February 6, 2024. Written comments can be submitted through the “Participate Now” option on the BLM National NEPA Register (preferred) or delivered to: BLM Southwest District Office, ATTN: GUSG RMPA, 2465 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO 81401. Additional documents, maps, resources, and other information are also available at the online register.
For additional information, please contact Sage-Grouse Coordinator Leah Waldner at (970) 244-3045 or BLM_CO_GUSG_RMPA@blm.gov.
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.