WY Governor Tells BLM to Withdraw Resource Management Plan Draft

by Andy Schwab

Governor Mark Gordon has sent a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning requesting the BLM withdraw its Rock Springs Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) with its conservation-dominated Preferred Alternative. The draft RMP covers 3.6 million acres managed by the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office. The Governor is requesting the BLM withdraw the plan and resubmit a new preferred alternative that is based on cooperation with impacted communities.

According to the BLM, its preferred alternative is the “most restrictive” out of the four proposed alternatives. The Governor said the draft represents a troubling and dramatic shift in the agency’s approach to the cooperative development of these management plans.

“Wyoming and local cooperators have worked long and hard to lead, build, and maintain partnerships for effective and responsible land management policies,” Governor Gordon stated. “Over a decade’s worth of contributions from local stakeholders, cooperators, counties, and state agencies are either falling on deaf ears or disingenuously being thrown by the wayside with this decision.”

Governor Gordon added that the BLM’s Preferred Alternative ignored the wishes of local communities in favor of a politically driven proposal that is destructive for cooperative federalism.

“The BLM’s RMP and Preferred Alternative threaten to eliminate all the hard work accomplished by bulldozing over state executive orders, stakeholder engagement, and interagency agreements. Simply put, existing and future partnerships are in jeopardy. A federal fiat won’t run efficiently or well over such a bumpy road,” Governor Gordon wrote. 

Read Governor Gordon’s full letter here. The public comment period for the BLM Rock Springs Field Office RMP is currently open through November 16, 2023. The draft RMP and information on how to comment can be found on the following link: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/13853/510 .

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WY Governor Mark Gordon – 2023

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