The long awaited Final BLM Uncompahgre Resource Management Plan (RMP) for over 675,800 surface acres and 971,220 acres of federal subsurface mineral estate within the Uncompahgre Planning Area was released on June 28, 2019, 3 years after the draft was released for public comment.
This RMP is the single-most important economic driver, which will dictate the future of Delta County and the North Fork Valley for the next 20 years. This Final Proposed RMP opens 95% of the federal mineral estate to oil and gas development, and removed protections for our watershed, our public health, wildlife resources, and climate that were proposed in the 2016 draft RMP, and is inconsistent with several Colorado laws, policies and plans. The deadline for protesting this RMP to the BLM is July 29, 2019. The Governor has until August 29, 2019 to conduct a consistency review and make a recommendation to the BLM. A No Oil and Gas Leasing Alternative is the only way to fully protect the community from harm.
The Final RMP must be protested for the following reasons:
- BLM proposed an entirely new alternative which was not subject to public comment in violation of federal law;
- BLM did not consider a no-development or no leasing alternative as a baseline alternative for comparison of all other alternatives;
- The proposed RMP is inconsistent with Colorado’s recent statutory changes to put people, the environment, and climate FIRST, Colorado’s Water Plan, and Gunnison Sage-Grouse protections.
- Oil and gas development in the North Fork Valley is unsafe and unsound because it is the 2nd most geologically unstable corridor in the State, and it does not have enough water to support the level of development forecasted.