Public comments on the BLM Resource Management Plan are welcome
Bureau of Land Management
The Farmington field office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA), and will be accepting public comments on the proposal through May 28, 2020
The plan does not adequately protect fragile cultural and environmental resources on the lands surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from the growing threat of encroaching oil and gas development.
Despite calls from the All Pueblo Council of Governors, New Mexico’s entire Congressional delegation, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, and myriad nonprofits including New Mexico Wild, BLM’s preferred plan fails to protect the proposed ten-mile buffer zone around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. To make matters worse, several alternatives being considered by BLM would open the entire buffer zone to oil and gas development.
The draft RMPA also threatens to prioritize oil and gas development, with no protective measures, on lands with Wilderness characteristics. These lands, which New Mexico Wild inventoried and submitted to BLM, are some of the last wild places in northwest New Mexico and need to be protected from the irreversible damage that follows oil and gas development. We are urging the BLM to move forward with a plan that will protect these lands and place their wilderness values above the short-term boon of yet another oil well on the landscape.
The Carlsbad field office is revising its Resource Management Plan as well. We are conducting an inventory of Lands with Wilderness Characteristics in that area, and we have also submitted proposals for the BLM to designate four Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).
The Carlsbad field office is expected to release a draft Resource Management Plan Amendment sometime in 2020, and will be accepting public input. Stay tuned for more details on how to comment on Carlsbad's proposal once the RMPA is released.