Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) has introduced the Western Colorado Wilderness Study Area Release Act (H.R. 5570), a bill that would release acreage in Delta, Mesa and Jackson counties from further consideration for designation as wilderness by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Specifically, the bill would release the North Sand Hills Instant Study Area in Jackson County, the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Study Area in Mesa and Delta counties, and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Study Area in Mesa County. The BLM cannot release the land without an act of Congress.
The bill would also make the released acreage in Dominguez Canyon part of the non-wilderness component of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.
County commissioners in Jackson, Mesa and Delta counties have thanked Tipton for his efforts and expressed their support for H.R. 5570.
Mark Roeber, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners of Delta County, said, "Delta County's Board of Commissioners fully supports the efforts of Congressman Tipton's enabling legislation for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and release of the Wilderness Study Areas into the National Conservation Area."
Tipton thanked the BLM and affected counties for a cooperative process that produced a non-controversial bill.
"When it comes to federal land management, I support a balanced approach that includes respecting the environment that we all deeply value, while making the best use of our resources," Tipton said. "These Wilderness Study Areas have been in land management limbo for far too long, and I was happy to work with the BLM and Delta, Mesa and Jackson counties to develop a solution that meets the needs of everyone involved."
On Dec. 4 Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes denied the application of Paonia Holdings, LLC for a change of land use for the property at 41322 Highway 133, with an adjacent residence at 41402 Highway 133 and an ancillary property at 16180 Stevens Gulch Road.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.