Bennet Previously Called on BLM to Consider Community, Stakeholder Concerns Before Moving Forward with Record of Decision
Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on the Record of Decision for the Resource Management Plan announced by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Uncompahgre Field Office. Last fall, Bennet sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt reiterating concerns expressed by the State of Colorado, local governments, and a diverse group of local stakeholders that BLM’s plan lacks adequate measures to protect water supplies, air quality, wildlife habitat, and the burgeoning recreation economy. At the time, Bennet requested that the BLM reengage with local stakeholders to develop a balanced plan that respects their priorities.
“This plan, and the BLM’s attempt to rectify local concerns, is completely inadequate. Throughout the process, counties and local stakeholders recommended changes to the plan, but they were met with a lack of transparency and eleventh hour changes from the BLM. Rather than do the hard work to build consensus and balance interests, the Trump Administration’s energy dominance agenda in Washington overruled the concerns of Colorado counties. While this is a disappointing outcome, I will continue to work with the community on a path forward.”
The Resource Management Plan guides public land management across 675,000 acres in Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Delta, San Miguel, and Mesa Counties. Before releasing the proposed plan in June, the BLM held hundreds of meetings, conducted research, and received thousands of comments. However, the initial plan included unexpected changes inconsistent with community feedback, prompting the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and three affected counties to submit formal protest letters to the BLM. Governor Jared Polis also wrote to the BLM expressing his concerns.