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BLM is proposing to reopen every travel management decision in the state

Land Use Alert | Published on 12/6/2023

Issue Summary:

The BLM has proposed to revise existing resource management plans across the state to address possible impacts to wildlife from oil and gas activities on both BLM and Forest Service lands. The Proposal would require a cap on road/trail density of less than a mile of route per square mile to protect wildlife. While the Proposal asserts it is not revising travel management decisions in place, there is no way this is possible. While the Proposal asserts it will not impact areas outside high value wildlife habitat, the decisions are applied basically everywhere west of Denver.  The Proposal fails to recognize that there are areas of federal lands where motorized recreation is protected instead of wildlife concerns, but these congressional protections are ignored.  We are asking for your comments in opposition to this Proposal as this could profoundly impact all forms of recreation on public lands.


Upcoming public meetings- virtual and in person


The virtual public meetings are scheduled to occur on the dates and times below:

  • Monday, December 11, 2023, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. MDT.  
  • Monday, December 18, 2023, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. MDT.  


To register for a virtual or in-person public meeting, please visit the project website:


The in-person meetings will be:


December 7 - 5 to 7 p.m.                                                     December 13 -5 to 7 p.m.

Durango Public Library                                            Pavilion at the Fairgrounds

1900 E 3rd Ave                                                         1900 E 3rd Ave750 East 4th Street

Durango, CO 81301                                                               Craig, CO 81625


December 14- 5 to 7 p.m.

Hampton Inn

715 Megan Ave

Rifle, CO 81650




Our concerns for your comments in opposition (please rewrite in your own to ensure they are not consolidated).

1. Wildlife populations in the state are exceeding population goals for elk and deer are slightly below goals due to heavy winter kill of deer in Northwest Colorado last winter. Why does current management need to change?

2.  The Proposal simply assumes that road and trail density is the correct tool to address possible impacts from humans to wildlife but there is no basis for this.  Why do issues like off lease dogs or Chronic Wasting disease fall outside the analysis?

3.  Most areas have recent travel management plans in place, but these would be reopened to protect wildlife despite the fact each of these plans already addressed wildlife when they were created.

4.  The Proposal would now require that route density for oil and gas routes be below 1 mile per square mile but provides no analysis of how an oil and gas route would be identified.  This is important as there are almost no routes that accommodate only oil and gas usage and this would result in heavy impacts to recreational access.

5.  The Proposal would require the constant monitoring of oil and gas permits by the Public  as oil and gas developers would now be required to perform compensatory mitigation if densities are exceeded.  Compensatory mitigation would include closure of routes that are redundant or illegal, but is unclear how this would relate to oil and gas exploration. Last year there were 1,100 oil and gas permits issued in Colorado.

6. The Proposal is horribly inconsistent in what it is trying to address and often directly contrary internally.  As an example, one chapter says trails are outside the scope of analysis and subsequent chapters provide discussions of how trails were included in the calculations.

7. Recreation has never been a landscape level threat to wildlife as other factors have had far more direct impacts, such as the upcoming introduction of wolves in Colorado.

8.  All analysis fails to recognize Congressional protections of public lands for recreation such as the Special management areas Congressionally created as part of the Hermosa watershed legislation or the National  monument created by the Camp Hale Proclamation.


More information on the Propsoal

EplanningUi (


Where to file written comments:

BLM Colorado State Office

Attn: Big Game Corridor Amendment/EIS

Denver Federal Center, Building 40

Lakewood, CO, 80225

Where to file electronic comments:

Deadline for comments

February 6, 2024