Utah to develop Management and Mineral Leasing plans for Green & Colorado Rivers

posted March 30, 2018
by Nathan Fey

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The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL) is developing the first comprehensive management plans (CMPs) for state-owned, sovereign land sections of the Colo­rado and Green Rivers, and updating the existing Mineral Leasing Plan (MLP) for these sovereign lands.  

Population growth, recreation use, mining, and oil & gas development have increased along sections of the Green, and popular runs like the Moab Daily, Westwater Canyon, and portions of Horsethief Canyon on the Colorado. 

FFSL is responsible for ensuring that all uses on, beneath, or above the bed of the Green and Colorado Rivers are regulated to protect navigation and public recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, aquatic beauty and water quality. The CMP and updated Mineral Leasing Plan will determine FFSL's future management goals for these rivers.

The first Mineral Leasing Plan for the Green and Colorado River’s was approved in 1998. Since then it has been amended six times (at least) to allow for Oil, Gas and Hydrocarbon leases along the Green River. In December 2017, the State temporarily halted new mineral leasing along the Green and Colorado River’s while the new CMP and MLP are developed. Motorized Use and above ground utility permitting are also on hold until the withdrawal expires December 1, 2019 (or earlier if the planning process is completed ahead of schedule).

The CMP and MLP will determine what the future of the Green and Colorado River corridors will look like. Paddlers need to speak up now to ensure that these places are protected, and good guidelines on resource development are set forth.

During the months of March and April 2018, FFSL will host open house meetings in each county through which the Green and Colorado Rivers flow. At these open house meetings, FFSL will present information on the CMP and MLP process and seek public participation and your comments.  

Please attend an open house and offer your thoughts on recreation infrastructure, navigational hazards, river health, noxious weed locations, areas where restoration is needed, areas where you interact with the river, water quality, or any desired conditions you wish to see in the future. 

The first round of public meetings take place between March 27 and April 19, 2018. A formal 45-day comment period will occur in mid-2019 to gather feedback on the draft CMPs. If you cannot attend a meeting in person, you may also make comments via the project website.  The meetings will be held in:

UINTAH COUNTY

·         Tuesday, March 27th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Uintah County Library in Vernal;

KANE COUNTY

·         Tuesday, April 10th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kanab City Library in Kanab;

GARFIELD COUNTY

·         Wednesday, April 11th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Escalante Senior Center in Escalante;

WAYNE COUNTY

·         Thursday, April 12th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hanksville EMS Building in Hanksville;

SAN JUAN COUNTY

·         Tuesday, April 17th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the San Juan County Administration Building in Monticello;

GRAND COUNTY

·         Wednesday, April 18th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Grand County High School Auditorium in Moab; and

EMERY COUNTY

·         Thursday, April 19th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River

 

You can access the Mineral Leasing Plan for the Green and Colorado Rivers in our Documents section.  Amendments to the MLP can also be found here. For more information on the planning effort, as well as a storymap of the region, please visit http://bit.ly/gcrcmp for more details.

Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601


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