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BLM's Resource Management Plan impacts acreage in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Counties


Recreation and oil and gas development in our region are impacted by a new plan released Wednesday (7/8/15) by the Bureau of Land Management. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The Resource Management Plan for the Colorado River Valley Field Office applies to BLM lands in six counties including Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin. It updates a 1984 plan and directs management for the next two decades.

The majority of high-potential acreage for oil and gas production has already been leased. Still, the new plan closes 98-thousand acres to future leasing. David Boyd is a BLM spokesman.

"That includes state wildlife areas, areas that we’re managing to maintain wilderness characteristics, some lands we have within municipal boundaries, and some areas of critical environmental concern.”

The plan also gives a new designation to the 9100 acre Crown Mountain area in Pitkin and Garfield Counties. It’s now a Special Recreation Management Area. That’s good news for mountain bikers, says Mike Pritchard with the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association.

"The idea is that it will be managed with mountain bike experiences as one of the focuses. That means that they’re willing to consider new trails in the coming years - as much as 12 to 15 miles of new mountain bike focused trails.”

The plan is separate from another BLM analysis that’s examining oil and gas leases on White River National Forest land in the Thompson Divide. That plan will come out this fall for public review.