Home News Local News Long-awaited BLM resource plan draft due for release soon

Long-awaited BLM resource plan draft due for release soon

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After several years of discussion regionally as well as in Washington, D.C., the draft of the update to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Carlsbad Resource Management Plan is expected to be released within a couple of weeks.

The draft outlines how the BLM intends to manage the land, wildlife, vegetation and mineral resources under the jurisdiction of its Carlsbad office, which includes portions of Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties.

The document should be available to the public by March 30, said Jim Stovall, Pecos District manager of the BLM, at a Thursday night meeting of the Chaves County Land Council.

Chaves County commissioners have received a hard copy already, Stovall added.

The updated plan, started in 2010, already has been of concern to some county officials, landowners and leaseholders. At several public meetings in 2017 with BLM managers, Chaves County commissioners and some ranchers have expressed their worries that land will be unnecessarily characterized as “areas of critical environmental concern” or “land with wilderness characteristics,” which would then limit the use of those parcels for ranching, oil and gas activities, or other business purposes.

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Stovall said that, once the draft is released, a 90-day public comment period will begin. BLM plans to hold several public meetings in the region, including one in Roswell. Comments received will be responded to, and then the draft could be revised based on comments received.

Stovall told members of the Land Council that he could not predict when the update would be finalized, but he added after the meeting that the plan s a priority of the current BLM administration because of increased oil and gas interest and activity in the Permian Basin area under the Trump Administration.

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