Gov. Gordon plans RMP stakeholder workshops
WYOMING – Gov. Mark Gordon appreciates that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has extended the current comment period on the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an additional 60 days, ending on Jan. 17, 2024. Even more so, he welcomes the news – following lengthy and frank discussions – that the BLM is committing to roll up its sleeves to work with Wyoming people.
That said, the current preferred alternative is unacceptable, and the governor is disappointed that a unified request for a withdrawal of the proposed EIS made by the him, Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation, Wyoming County Commissioners and Wyoming industries was not granted.
However, it is important to remember that the extension comes with a commitment from BLM to work closely with Wyoming people and truly hear their concerns during this additional comment period. The additional time gives stakeholders who work, recreate, enjoy the natural resources and help conserve wildlife within the Rock Springs BLM management area to provide substantive comments to shape an acceptable, well-reasoned final proposal.
“This extension will allow Wyoming citizens additional opportunities for engagement in this important process,” Gov. Gordon said. “When the preferred alternative was announced, it came as a surprise to many of those who had worked for years on the draft document. That’s because there was a gap of two years during which the cooperating agencies’ meetings on the draft Rock Springs Management Plan did not take place.”
In addition, Gov. Gordon committed state agencies to continue their diligent work to propose substantive comments supporting the best use of the remarkable resources within the BLM Rock Springs District and protect Wyoming’s interests.
He has directed the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute to convene workshops for stakeholders, including but not limited to local government officials, legislators, conservationists, grazing interests, hunters, recreationists, trona, oil and gas and the general public to discuss the proposed alternatives identified in the plan and EIS.
The UW School of Energy Resources and the College of Agriculture will assist in gathering and recording information for these workshops. The BLM has assured Gov. Gordon that they will participate in all the workshops to which they are invited. Additional information on these workshops will be forthcoming.
The BLM is obligated to review and consider all comments before making a final decision on the final EIS and eventually Record of Decision for the management plan.
The draft RMP and information on how to comment are found at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/13853/510.