In 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a sprawling draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for 675,800 acres of its public land along the Lower Gunnison, Uncompahgre, and San Miguel watersheds and 971,220 acres of federal mineral estate. This Uncompahgre RMP will determine the management of BLM lands in this area, collectively known as the Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO), for decades to come.

The draft RMP features a wide range of alternatives reflecting different visions for administering these lands, including the North Fork Alternative, a citizen alternative submitted to the BLM by the Conservation Center and local partners. This is our best opportunity to speak out in support of protecting the land, water, air, and wildlife of our home. The 150-day comment period on the draft RMP ended on November 1st, 2016. *We are now awaiting the FINAL Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be released in Fall 2018.* Read Western Slope Conservation Center’s draft RMP comment letter here.

  • Lands open to oil and gas in BLM's Preferred Alternative
  • Other

The BLM is proposing to keep ninety five percent (95%) of the Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO) open to oil and gas development.

The US Forest Service manages land in the upper watershed as part of the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre Gunnison National Forest (GMUG). The BLM manages much of the lower watershed as part of the Uncompahgre Field Office (UFO). The BLM also manages the federal mineral estate beneath much of the GMUG National Forest.

“We have worked with partners in 25 communities to develop the range of alternatives in this draft plan, including a community vision for the North Fork Valley,” said Dana Wilson, Acting BLM Uncompahgre Field Manager. “These are some of the public’s most spectacular landscapes, from canyon country to the foothills of the West Elk Mountains and Grand Mesa, providing recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, forage for grazing and energy resources.”

Let’s hold the BLM accountable to protecting all of these spectacular resources here on the Western Slope!


View the Google Earth layers for the North Fork Alternative via our Interactive Map or download the Google Earth files from the BLM.

View or download our additional resources for the RMP, including maps, fact sheets, and more! UFO RMP Resources

Want detailed hard-copy maps for oil and gas leasing alternatives in the North Fork? Find them here.


The comment period is now over. You can read WSCC’s comments here.

We also have several draft comment letters that you can use to write your own comment to the BLM and supporting letter to other decision-makers like the Delta County BoCC:

Draft RMP Comment Letter in support of North Fork Alternative (B1) – Full Version

Draft RMP Comment Letter in support of North Fork Alternative (B1) – Short Version

Draft Letter to Delta County BoCC in support of North Fork Alternative (B1)


Use the information in the North Fork Alternative to make specific comments about any or all of your concerns.  SPECIFIC COMMENTS ARE MOST IMPORTANT.  Write why you personally will be impacted.


  • “I am a resident of…”

  • “I live adjacent to XXX ”

  • “My family has farmed/ranched in this area for XXX years…”

  • “I choose to live here because…”


  • Values and factors for why you have chosen to live in this area.

  • Impacts from oil and gas development on the reasons you live here. Include specifics on your experience and use on nearby lands. Include as many details on the specific locations.

  • Impact on your drinking and irrigation water

  • Impact on your air quality

  • Noise and light pollution as well as impacts to your viewshed

  • Increased heavy truck traffic and other transportation dangers

  • Wildlife impacts

Want fact sheets that provide you everything you need, including major resource concerns as developed by WSCC, CHC, and WCC? Well here you go! (We’ll post them as they are available.)


  • Include all proposed actions in the North Fork Alternative, B1, in the final RMP. The North Fork Alternative boundaries include the communities of Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford and include areas that supply municipal water, irrigation, and domestic water companies, impact the scenic features of the Valley, and are high quality wildlife lands.

  • Ensure the strongest level of long-term protection for resources of particular concern included in Alternative B1, such as water supplies and riparian areas; scenic qualities of the valley and our ‘million dollar’ viewsheds; undeveloped wildlife lands including winter range and migration corridors.

  • Include all other conservation protections in Alternative B. (These include, but are not limited to, those listed above.)


Uncompahgre Field Office
2465 South Townsend Avenue
Montrose, CO 81401

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Tell the BLM: we want a healthy North Fork Valley and Western Slope for decades to come! The comment deadline is November 1st, but don’t wait. Use the resources on this page to submit your comments TODAY!