Southwest Colorado BLM Districts to Hold Consultative Meeting – The Journal
The public meeting will take place on Zoom; scheduled comment period
The Bureau of Land Management’s Southwest District Resource Advisory Council will hold a virtual meeting on June 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The meeting is organized by the Tres Rios field office and is open to the public. Participants can join through the Zoom platform. To request access, register at https://blm.zoomgov.com.
The Southwest RAC serves as a forum for community conversation on land management and BLM issues. The committee makes policy and plan recommendations and presents ideas to BLM officials.
“By digging deep into complex topics and offering solutions to a variety of land and resource management issues, the members of the Resource Advisory Council provide us with valuable new perspective,” District Manager Elizabeth Dawson said in a statement. Press.
Planned agenda items include the election of a chair, an overview of updates from the field office, and a discussion regarding the challenges of scattered camping and camping fees.
A public comment period is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
Persons wishing to make a statement during the public comment period are encouraged to submit a written copy of their statement at the meeting for the administrative record. The Resource Advisory Board will also participate in a field visit on June 1. The meeting agenda will be online.
The 15-member Colorado Resource Advisory Councils are forums for providing advice and recommendations to the BLM on various resource and land management issues. The Southwest Resource Advisory Council advises the BLM Colorado Southwest District, including field offices in Gunnison, Uncompahgre, and Tres Rios. Updates will be provided by each field office.
Current CCR members are Kathy Welt, Energy and Minerals; Mark Roeber, pasture; Grady Ham, outdoor recreation; Jim Haugsness, Scattered Recreation; Tif Rodriguez, wild horses and donkeys; Ben Katz, environmental organizations; Roger Cesario, scattered leisure; Jon Holst, environmental organizations; Matt Thorpe, Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Stan Whinnery, elected; Dolores County Commissioner Steve Garchar; and Staff Jamison, general public. There are three vacancies on the Board of Directors.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact Shawn Reinhardt at 970-240-5339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the March 3 South West RAC meeting, there was no vote.
Field managers provided updates, which were documented in the meeting minutes.
Tres Rios Field Office
Field manager for the Tres Rios office, Connie Clementson, said management challenges are drought and an increase in the number of people living on BLM land, which has impacts on wildlife.
She said advocacy groups have confronted the field office with a strong interest in stopping grazing on public lands. For example, environmental groups have challenged the renewal of grazing allotments on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Gunnison Field Office
Gunnison Field Office Manager Jon Kaminsky said public recreation has increased in his district since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
He added that a housing shortage has increased the number of people living on public land, which has created problems with wildlife movement.
External office without comparison
At Uncompahgre’s office, field manager Suzanne Copping said staff were working on water distribution to help alleviate drought conditions for pastures. The office’s limited staff was forced to maintain contact with grazing permit holders, collect data, and monitor public recreational use.
Gunnison Field Office
Gunnison’s field office focused on drought conditions in the North Fork Valley, habitat for Gunnison’s sage-grouse and bighorn sheep, which directly affect pastures.
Copping also noted that private land transfers make it difficult for current holders to access plots and water for grazing.
Southwest Fire District
Brandon Lewis of the Southwest District Fire and Aviation said the lack of housing and wages for seasonal personnel has become increasingly difficult.
“Without affordable housing, we can’t bring in seasonal staff to cover the growing fire season, and with low wages, they can’t afford housing in our area,” he said, according to the minutes.
The team is looking for creative ideas to attract additional seasonal firefighters.
BLM Colorado said it received $3-4 million in additional funding to help with fuel management.
At the March meeting, the CCR expressed interest in a new sub-committee dedicated to grazing issues. Who will be on the committee will be discussed at the June meeting.