The San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado has seen a recent and extensive push to support some form of designation which would ultimately lock up public and private lands. Groups and organizations have been holding public meetings with the agenda to get locals to support either a national conservation area or a national monument. Both of these options are extremely restrictive in nature and would affect both public and private lands within the area. Oil and gas exploration, grazing and outdoor recreation are all vital players in the local economies and culture. Claims within the meetings are made that a designation won’t hurt access and that no designation is what will actually hurt the lands. Make no mistake, a national monument or national conservation area is a land grab in order to shut down multiple use on public lands
The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, who is a main player in wanting a designation, has been organizing meetings in order to gain public support for a designation. In a meeting they organized the following panel: “George Whitten, a representative currently sitting on the Colorado Agricultural Commission; Eric Valencia, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Manager for the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument (RGDNM); and J.D. Schmidt, a sheep herder who has permits on BLM lands and also grazes on National Wildlife Refuges, which require maintenance of high land health standards.”
These groups are trying to show local support in order for a restrictive designation to be made. Claims that national monuments and national conservation areas help recreation, grazing and other uses are egregiously incorrect. Once a designation such as a national monument or NCA is made, land managers can implement more and more restrictions, and this has happened across the Western United States. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is currently updating the resource management plan wherein grazing is proposed to be cut in half, and the majority of roads and access will be removed.
These designations are a major part of President Biden’s 30X30 agenda to lock up 30% of our nation’s lands by 2030. Be assured that any form of NCA or National Monument will be devastating to the local use and economy.
Please sign the petition below and add your voice to ours to oppose restrictive management and land grabs out of the San Luis Valley.