BLM seeks public scoping comments for its Gunnison
Lakewood, Colo.– The Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Office is seeking public input on a southeast Utah and southwest Colorado Resource Management Plan Amendment and associated Environmental Impact Statement for conservation of Gunnison sage-grouse and vital habitat.
Today’s publication of a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register initiates a 45-day public scoping period. The public may submit comments regarding alternatives, scope, issues or new information via the BLM ePlanning website https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2019031/510. The BLM will announce dates of upcoming virtual and in-person 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 is committed to working with our partners to best preserve the health and welfare of Gunnison sage-grouse populations and their habitat throughout the southwest,” stated Deputy State Director for Resources Alan Bittner. “We welcome and encourage robust public participation in this process as we consider potential management actions impacting our public lands.”
The Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement would involve evaluating existing Resource Management Plans that intersect Gunnison sage-grouse habitat and addressing management actions including, but not limited to, mineral leasing and development, recreation, livestock grazing management, realty actions, fire management, and restoration actions. The BLM will then consider, with the best available science, reasonable alternative approaches to its management strategies.
The BLM released a Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement in August 2016 but paused the planning effort in 2018 following an announcement that the Fish and Wildlife Service would complete a recovery plan for the species. The Fish and Wildlife Service released the Final Recovery Plan for the species in October 2020, prompting the BLM to reengage in this effort.