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High Desert District Office
Release Date: 06/29/10
Contacts: Beverly Gorny    

BLM Hosts Open Houses to Seek Public Input on Visual Inventory

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will be holding a series of open houses to collect information from the public on scenic values in southern Wyoming. The open houses will be held in Baggs, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Laramie and Saratoga in mid-July.

To prepare for a planning review of the Resource Management Plans for the BLM Rawlins and Rock Springs field offices, the BLM is conducting an inventory of visual resources using the VRM system. The study area includes approximately 7 million acres of BLM-administered public lands and 9 million acres of Federal mineral estate within Carbon, Albany, Laramie, Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Fremont and Sublette counties in southeastern and south-central Wyoming. The inventory is being conducted with the assistance of OTAK, a third-party contractor.

The BLM is responsible for ensuring that the scenic values of the public lands are considered before allowing uses that may have negative visual impacts. This is accomplished through the Visual Resource Management (VRM) System. This system involves taking an inventory of existing scenic values, establishing management objectives for those values, and then evaluating proposed activities to determine whether they conform to the management objectives. In order to inventory visual values, the BLM looks at three factors: scenic quality, public sensitivity and distance zones, generally from designated observation points and corridors.

At the BLM open houses, the public will be asked to help answer the following questions about scenic values in the study area:

  • What are the baseline values for typical types of landscapes and scenery?
  • What are the sensitivities to various types of land uses (e.g., recreation facilities, recreation activity, livestock grazing, oil and gas, wind energy, etc.) on these landscapes?
  • At what level of intensity would development negatively affect the visual quality of these landscapes?
  • Which geographic areas are especially sensitive?

Open houses are scheduled from 4–7:30 p.m. in these locations:

  • Monday, July 12 – Little Snake River Valley Higher Education Center, 360 Whipporwill, Baggs, Wyo.
  • Tuesday, July 13 – Jeffrey Memorial Community Center, 315 East Pine St., Rawlins, Wyo.
  • Wednesday, July 14 – Western Wyoming Community College, Room 1302, Rock Springs, Wyo.
  • Monday, July 19 – Platte Valley Community Center, 210 Elm St., Saratoga, Wyo.
  • Tuesday, July 20 – Albany County Library, 310 South 8th St., Laramie, Wyo.

Your participation is important to the success of this project and will help guide the future management of visual values on BLM-administered public lands. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact Sherry Roche, BLM Wyoming State Office visual resources specialist, at 307-775-6484.

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.

High Desert District Office   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs, WY 82901  

Last updated: 06-30-2010