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Kot: Public comment helps public lands
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Kot: Public comment helps public lands

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Editor:

For several years, the Bureau of Land Management has been working towards publishing its Draft Resource Management Plan for its Rock Springs Field Office, which covers over 3 million acres of public lands within Sweetwater County and southwest Wyoming. Even though it may be months before this draft plan is published, it is important for everyone who uses and enjoys BLM land to watch for public notices of its publication and be prepared to comment on a wide array of multiple use resource issues covered by the draft plan. Commenting will make you part of the public participation process that will help ensure that our public lands are managed to protect our region’s multiple use heritage.

Whether your public lands interests lie in protecting the tax base provided by mineral development, identifying suitable sites for alternative energy, protecting grazing rights or preserving wildlife habitat and special places like the Greater Little Mountain Area, Red Desert, or Natural Corrals, submitting your comments to the BLM helps guide them in making balanced resource management decisions. Some comment ideas could include requesting that solar and other renewable energy projects are not located within big game migration corridors, and encouraging regionalized upfront leasing plans that keep important fish and wildlife habitat healthy and connected while also providing certainty for industry.

BLM public land is a key element in what makes Sweetwater County and southwest Wyoming a great place to work and live. It is our heritage. To protect this heritage, the BLM should prioritize a timely publication of its Draft Resource Management Plan while the issues addressed in it are still relevant and residents are not left guessing when the draft will be published. Whether or not the publication of the draft plan is months away or not, it is critical that Southwest Wyoming residents watch for its notice of publication and then once it is published take time submit their comments to the BLM.

MARK KOT, Rock Springs

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