BLM Releases Draft RMP/EIS for Upper Colorado River- CO
Colorado - The long anticipated Draft Resource Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) for the Bureau of Land Management's Kremmling and Colorado River Valley Field Offices has been released fro public comment. Combined, these Field Offices manage nearly 80 Miles of the Upper Colorado River including Gore Canyon and Glenwood Springs.
Initially, the Kremmling Field Office DRMP/DEIS was prepared in conjunction with the DRMP/DEIS for the neighboring Glenwood Springs Field Office (GSFO), which is now called the Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO). This combined planning effort was an efficient way to complete the first stages of the planning process. However, given the complexity of the analysis, it was decided in December of 2010 that 2 separate documents, a DRMP/DEIS for the KFO and a DRMP/DEIS for the CRVFO, would be issued, and that the planning effort for the 2 Field Offices would continue as separate processes.
Both documents outline four proposed management alternatives, including a Preferred Alternative. For both planning processes, the Preferred Management Alternative includes two options that tackle River segments found eligible for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic River System.
Option 1 will determine that segments of the Colorado River, and it's tributaries are Suitable for WSR Inclusion.
Option 2 will defer any suitibility determiniation, and adopt and implement the Stakeholder Group’s Management Plan in order to protect the free-flowing nature, Outstandingly Remarkable Values, and tentative classifications of the river segments.
The development of the Stakeholders Plan has been a large component of AW's Colorado River Stewardship Program since 2007, and we have worked hard to define recreational flow-needs, and fought to protect the existing quality and quantity of paddling opportunities in Gore Canyon, State Bridge, and Glenwood Canyon. With the release fo the DRMP/DEIS for both Field Offices, the Stakeholders, including AW, are charged with formal development of Flow-Management Guides for the Colorado River that protect the existing range of Whitewater Boating opportunities, and world-class trout fishing on nearly 80 miles of the Colorado River.
American Whitewater encourages paddlers and river enthusiasts to examine the Preferred Alternatives and provide comments to the BLM.
The formal public comment period began September 16, 2011. The closing date for comments remains
to be determined, but it will be 90 days from the date the printed paper copies are available to
the public, making it sometime in January 2012.
The most effective comments will address specific details of the Draft RMP, including methodologies, sources of information, and components of the alternatives. All written comments received will be considered during the BLM’s decision-making process, but only specific, substantive comments will be addressed in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS.
Public open-house meetings have been scheduled, as follows:
October 27, 2011, Granby Community Center, 125 North 3rd, Granby, CO.
November 3, 2011, The Wattenberg Center, 682 County Road 42, Walden, CO.
November 8, 2011, CSU Cooperative Extension Building, Fairgrounds, Kremmling, CO.
Each of these meetings will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
These meetings will be opportunities to meet informally with the Kremmling Field Office staff for the purpose of asking questions and getting clarification about topics of interest in the DRMP/DEIS. American Whitewater staff will be available at both the Granby and Kremmling meetings.
The DRMP/DEIS is available now for downloading and review.
The Kremmling FO's DRMP/DEIS can be found at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/land_use_planning/rmp/kfo-gsfo/kremmling.html
The Colorado River Valley FO's DRMP/DEIS can be found at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/land_use_planning/rmp/kfo-gsfo/crv.html
A compact disc that contains the entire DRMP/DEIS is available, upon request. And, printed paper copies will be available in limited quantities in mid-October.
Please feel free contact Dennis Gale, RMP Project Lead at (970) 724-3003, if you have questions.
Comments can be submited electronically by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail to:
Bureau of Land Management
Kremmling Field Office
P. O. Box 68
Kremmling, CO 80459.