Responding to requests from Delta and Mesa counties, the Bureau of Land Management has announced it will extend by 30 days, until Monday, Sept. 23, the public comment period on the Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and wilderness.
Delta County Commissioner Doug Atchley told the DCI that the original Aug. 22 deadline for public comment doesn't allow enough time.
"We would like more time to review proposed travel route closures in the NCA on a route-by-route basis with our road and bridge department and engineer. We have had some meetings on the topic, but we need more time," he said.
In addition, the commissioners have received feedback from constituents noting the need for more time to evaluate the RMP. The BoCC's letter to BLM states, "Delta County has received numerous requests from our constituents to seek an extension to provide review comments to the BLM. Given the volume of material to review and the importance of this document which will guide the management of the area for the next 20 years, we respectfully request a 30-day extension the to the public review process."
The BLM's Draft RMP is over 1,000 pages of spreadsheets, text, maps, definitions, and interactive scenario alternatives for management of 210,000 acres of desert and canyon country between Delta and Grand Junction. The draft was released last April.
Creating the Draft RMP has been a BLM objective since the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and wilderness area were established by Congress in 2009. Teams of BLM staff utilizing numerous of government specialists with technical information in many fields have put years of coordinated effort into compiling the Draft RMP. But BLM's public process has allowed only a few weeks of summer for individuals to read, review, and comment on the massive amount of detailed information the Draft RMP contains.
The BLM's process has gathered public comment along the way from two years of NCA Advisory Council sessions. The Uncompahgre and Grand Junction field Offices hosted two "coffee and cookies" presentations introducing the plan to the public last spring; one in Grand Junction and another in Delta. The Grand Junction and Montrose field offices also held a series of special, by-invitation meetings with various public lands user groups and BLM constituent groups including recreational interests, grazing permittees, and others.
The Uncompahgre and Grand Field Offices have scheduled two upcoming meetings of the NCA Advisory Council during August that will deal with travel management issues and the large number of travel route closures proposed in the Draft RMP.
The meetings are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 19, at 3 p.m. in the Mesa County Courthouse Annex; and, on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m. at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta.blog comments powered by Disqus