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Court: BLM Needs To Consider Climate Impacts In Resource Plan

Oct 29, 2018

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) needs to further analyze climate impacts as it plans for future use of public lands in the Colorado River Valley.


That BLM field office's 2015 Resource Management Plan faced opposition from several environmental groups, including Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop.


The environmental groups said the BLM's plan did not fully consider and analyze health and climate impacts of oil and gas development, and that the agency did not consider alternatives that would have closed areas to oil and gas development.


That plan provides guidance on how the BLM will manage public lands in the Colorado River Valley Field Office, which includes Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield, Mesa and Routt counties.


In a ruling in U.S. District Court, Judge Lewis T. Babcock said the agency did not analyze downstream or indirect impacts of greenhouse gas pollution from potential drilling in this area. Those indirect impacts are everything that happens after the drilling takes place.


The court also agreed with the environmental groups that the BLM did not fully consider uses other than oil and gas development in this area.