The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) is in the process of revising its management plan for 668,000 acres of public land in eastern and central Colorado. Most of this land is located in the Arkansas River watershed west of Cañon City. They are calling this revision the Eastern Colorado Resource Management Plan (ECO RMP). This plan will essentially determine how our BLM managed public lands and resources will be managed for the next 20-30 years.
The ECO RMP plan officially began June 2015 with the "Scoping period," when the BLM informed and gathered input from the general public. These plans typically take 4-5 years with multiple stages for public comment. The BLM is currently working on the draft alternatives and impact analysis strategy, a new step in BLM's planning process, which are scheduled to be released in the fall of 2016. The ECO RMP in its entirety is scheduled to be completed in 2019, with a public comment period to accompany each step, which will likely be one per year.
See the places that we're working to protect!
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The BLM released their Scoping Report in December 2015. This summarized and categorized all of the public comments that the BLM received during the ECO RMP's Scoping period. Lands with Wilderness Characteristics received the 2nd most comments of the 31 BLM Planning issue categories!
In 2015 the BLM re-inventoried their Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC), based on reports submitted by Wild Connections. Earlier this year, the BLM announced that they increased their Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) inventory from 77,765 acres to 182,518 acres, an increase of over 104,500 acres! BLM's LWC inventories can be found here.
The BLM recently published their Envisioning Report, a collaborative project the BLM did with Colorado Mesa University just prior to the Scoping Period in 2015, that engaged and polled local communities about their interests and concerns regarding local and regional BLM managed public lands.
The BLM also recently released their Recreation Report, also a project conducted with Colorado Mesa University that polled local communities in 2014 on recreational use and potential future use on BLM managed lands. Non-motorized recreation scored very well and most participants want to see our public lands remain "as is," as in natural, healthy, beautiful connected landscapes.
BLM Royal Gorge is currently working on their draft alternatives and impact analysis strategy. This is a new step in BLM management planning, and well received by Wild Connections and the conservation community, as it allows the public to review the draft documents early in the planning process, so that public input can be more easily incorporated into its plan.
Explore these BLM Lands
See our Events page for upcoming group hikes to Lands with Wilderness Characteristics areas (LWCs).
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics Hiking Guide.pdfThis offers a quick overview of 10 Lands with Wilderness Characteristics units that Wild Connections has led hikes into in the recent past. Each area description includes a summary of BLM’s inventory for wilderness characteristics, a map of the area, and Wild Connections comment guidance on protecting these lands for their wild and recreational values.
Detailed Resource Management Plan comments submitted to BLM jointly by Wild Connections, The Wilderness Society, Rocky Mountain Wild, Central Colorado Wilderness Coaltion, Quiet Use Coaltion, Rocky Mountain Chapter of Sierra Club, Conservation Colorado, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and National Parks Conservation Association.
You can get in touch with our Wildlands Conservation Coordinator, John Sztukowski, at (817) 939-4239 or firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Wild Connections 2168 Pheasant Place, Colorado Springs CO 80909 email@example.com