The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended the comment period for the Colorado River Valley (formerly Glenwood Springs) Resource Management Plan (RMP) until February 29. We have a little more time to get in some quality comments for this plan affecting over a half million acres of our public lands in central Colorado.
We are focusing comments on Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) – which is a bureaucratic way of saying our unprotected wild lands, many of which are already proposed for permanent wilderness designation. The BLM has identified 47,000 acres in 6 different units that meet the technical requirements, and several are adjacent to already-protected lands or Forest Service Roadless lands. Click here for more info on these wild lands.
Shockingly, the BLM preferred alternative would protect zero of these LWC acres to protect their wild values.
We need to demonstrate to the BLM that we are paying attention and that there is a constituency for these wild places. The best approach is to concentrate your comments on places where you have recreated and care about. If you can say that you go to a place and that protection of its wild character is a benefit to your recreation. Additionally, talking about how it would damage your enjoyment of these places if oil and gas, off-road vehicles or other disturbing activities were allowed - and that you would probably go elsewhere - is an effective argument.
By next Wednesday, CMC members and others need to step up and tell the BLM to protect these last wild places to their fullest capability. Special interests are putting lots of pressure on the BLM to roll back protections, so we must show that there is a strong constituency for wild lands. Please take a moment to write the BLM and tell them to protect these wild lands and your quiet recreational opportunities. Remember, specific notes about specific places work best. Please send us a copy of your comments too, so we can keep track of what folks are saying.
1) Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Send us a copy, please: email@example.com
The RMP is posted online at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/land_use_planning/rmp/kfo-gsfo/crv.html
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics and links to maps and more information:
Castle Creek Addition - lands contiguous with the existing Castle Peak Wilderness Study Area, proposed for wilderness and currently before Congress in Rep. Jared Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act.
Deep Creek – A large roadless gorge draining the Flat Tops Wilderness, eventually into the Colorado River, a popular hiking destination. Proposed for wilderness in Rep. Diana DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act of 2011.
Flat Tops Addition/Hack Lake – A large companion roadless area adjacent to the existing Falt Tops Wilderness, including popular Hack Lake. Proposed for wilderness in Rep. Diana DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act of 2011.
Grand Hogback – Dramatic jagged mountains near Rifle Falls State Park that separate the Roan Plateau from the Flat Tops plateau. Proposed for wilderness in Rep. Diana DeGette’s Colorado Wilderness Act of 2011.
Pisgah Mountain – Desolate mid-elevation cliffs along the Colorado River below Statebridge. Proposed for wilderness and currently being considered as a Special Management Area before Congress in Rep. Jared Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act.
Thompson Creek – Popular hiking destination west of Carbondale, threatened by oil and gas development. Proposed for wilderness and currently before Congress in Rep. Jared Polis’ Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act.
Thank you for your help and commitment to Colorado's public lands!
Director of Conservation and Education
Colorado Mountain Club