The Colorado River Valley Field Office, Grand Junction Field Office and Kremmling Field Office all completed resource management plans for their field offices in 2015. The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (NCA) completed the resource management plan in 2017. All of these field offices are now proposing supplementary rules to these resource management plans that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management Plan. There are many Areas of Environmental Concern (ACEC), Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMA) and Extensive Recreation Management Areas (ERMA). All of these designations create restrictions for users. The BLM is requesting comments from the public on these plans until March 25, 2024.

Full Briefing

Proposed restrictions vary depending on the location but they include: restricting building fires all together or requiring fire pans, restricting rock climbing fixtures, requiring proper disposal of human waste or requiring a portable toilet, keeping dogs leashed in certain areas, restricting equestrian use, restricting target shooting, limiting wood gathering, limiting overnight use, enacting seasonal closures, and limiting mechanized and motorized use. In areas open for over-snow travel, travel off designated routes is prohibited unless a minimum of 12 inches of snow cover exists and no resource damage will occur from over-snow travel. Group size limits of 25 people or less exist in some areas. Camping duration changes depending on area and time of year as well as camping limitations depending on the area. For example, it is proposed to restrict camping within 50 feet of a stream, pond or lake in some areas and 100 feet in others. With the inconsistencies it will be difficult for the public to understand what is allowed where, and this will create an enforcement nightmare for the BLM. You can read the proposals to see the specifics and also see below the areas that are proposed for camping restrictions.

You will only be allowed to camp in designated campsites in the following areas that are shaded red in the maps:

See below the areas being prohibited for overnight use:

BLM stated in this proposed rule they examined the issues and comments submitted during the development of each RMP and struck a balance between making areas available for these types of activities and imposing restrictions where necessary to protect natural resources and public health and safety. If the BLM has already struck a balance then why are they proposing to restrict even more? Although some of the proposals seem reasonable, many are inconsistent and seem far too restrictive.

The BLM also stated the supplementary rule would not have an effect of $200 million or more on the economy. Outdoor recreation surpassed $1 trillion in 2022 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We have reason to believe that the proposed rule changes will have an effect of more than $200 million ad therefore should be subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. This means it would also be subject to the Congressional Review Act.

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