RMP Governor’s Consistency Review: What Is It and What Can We Do
The UFO RMP process is nearing its final stages. The proposed RMP has been released, the protest period has ended, and you might be thinking, what else can be done to ensure positive results for our community.
Fortunately, Governor Jared Polis gets a 60-day window starting on June 28th, to weigh in and determine if the proposed RMP fits the vision for Colorado, as required by the NEPA process. The Governor will submit his recommendations to the BLM Colorado State Director, Jamie Connell. If the BLM Colorado State Director does not agree with the recommendations of the Governor, the Governor has 30 days to file an appeal with the Director of the BLM. The Director is required to accept the recommendations of the Governor if they “provide for a reasonable balance between the national interest and the State’s interest.”
The proposed RMP doesn’t fit the Governor’s vision of Colorado, and we need you to tell him why.
THREE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO CONNECT WITH GOV. POLIS
Tell Gov. Polis about how the UFO RMP impacts your backyard.
One way we can get in touch with Gov. Polis is by tagging him on social media platforms. To help with your posts:
- Use these hashtags:
- Tag @PolisforColorado on Facebook, @GovofCO on Twitter & Instagram
- Visit the Governor Jared Polis’ Facebook Page, send him a message or write him a review.
- Follow the Western Slope Conservation Center on social media, and share the posts that most interest you!
- Visit https://westernslopeconservation.org/public-lands/blm-ufo-rmp-2/ for info on the RMP.
How to start your social media posting
- “I love the North Fork because ______. The BLM Proposed RMP puts _____ at risk. @PolisforColorado must take action to support the North Fork Alternative to save the future of ______.”
- “The Proposed RMP does not reflect the community vision for the North Fork Valley because ______”
- “The Proposed RMP puts my [land, air, water, wildlife] at risk, we need @PolisforColorado’s help to #saveourUFO. ”
- “I support the North Fork Alternative because _________”
Use your creativity!!!
Other helpful hints:
- Share photos from your backyard, or of you recreating on BLM land.
- Use our maps.
- Tag the Western Slope Conservation Center in your posts.
- Share existing posts or events.
- Tag @BLMColorado
The public lands of the North Fork have offered opportunities for views, memories, activities, and fresh air for generations. The proposed RMP threatens the clean air and water that our families enjoy every day. I am asking @PolisforColorado to #saveourufo, and support the North Fork Alternative in the BLM Resource Management Plan.
The North Fork Valley’s public lands are at risk of losing their protection from extractive industries like oil and gas. If @PolisforColorado completes his Consistency Review on the BLM UFO’s proposed RMP by July 27, I encourage the inclusion of the North Fork Alternative. We can still #saveourufo. @WesternSlopeConservationCenter
The BLM UFO’s proposed RMP does not reflect the North Fork Valley community vision, putting us at risk of extractive development. @GovofCO we need your help to #saveourufo. #moreoilmoreproblems
The North Fork Valley’s public lands are at risk of losing their protection from extractive industries like oil and gas. If the @GovofCO tells the BLM to support the North Fork Alternative, we can #saveourufo.
(examples to associate with pictures of wildlife/children in nature)
The BLM UFO’s proposed RMP puts wildlife at risk. We need the @GovofCO to think of all who thrive off our #PublicLands, and #saveourufo.
The proposed RMP puts my children’s right to breathe fresh air and drink clean water at risk. I need the @GovofCO to speak for future generations, and support the North Fork Alternative. #conservation #saveourUFO
A personal letter to Gov. Polis is a great way to let him know what your values are, and why the North Fork Valley needs to be protected. We have provided the following tips to help you:
- Email letters to: Governorpolis@state.co.us
Please cc: email@example.com
- Mail comments to:
State Capitol Building
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 136,
Denver, CO 80203
Use personal knowledge, and cite or reference reports, studies, or other credible sources to support your case within your comments to the Governor. Describe the resources, values and uses of the public lands and what those mean for you, your family, your property and business. Highlight important factors that the BLM would need to consider if it contemplates any oil and gas development on any BLM lands, and explain how the BLM should consider that information. Note and document uses (i.e. recreation, ditches), water sources, commercial value, wildlife value, and other resource or community value these lands provide, on- and off of BLM Lands.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- The BLM is providing all of its information on the UFO RMP online: www.uformp.com
- North Fork Alternative fact sheets can be found on our website: https://westernslopeconservation.org/public-lands/blm-ufo-rmp-2/
- Contact Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org, call the office at 970-527-5307, or stop by the office 204 Poplar Ave, Paonia
WRITING A COMMENT LETTER
You might begin your letter with:
- “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….”
Use the information from the North Fork Alternative to make specific comments about any or all of your concerns. Write why you personally will be impacted, and how the Governor’s values align with the North Fork Alternative.
General Comment Topics:
- Values and factors for why you have chosen to live in this area.
- How would oil and gas development on lands left available for oil and gas affect the sense of place and your experience, or use, on or nearby?
- Impact on water and air quality.
- Noise and light pollution.
- Road degradation.
- Increased heavy truck traffic.
- Wildlife impacts
If possible, relate back to Governor Polis’ climate bills:
- SB-181: Protect Public Welfare Oil and Gas Operations: Concerns additional public welfare protections regarding the conduct of oil and gas operations
- HB-1261: Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution: Concerns the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution, and establishing statewide greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals and making an appropriation
- Any others you may be familiar with
Request Governor Polis to:
- Include all proposed actions in the North Fork Alternative, B1, in the final RMP. The BLM lands within the North Fork Alternative area are adjacent to the communities of Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford and include areas that supply municipal water, and irrigation and domestic water companies, impact the scenic features of the Valley, and are high quality wildlife lands.
- Ensure the strongest level of protection for resources of particular concern that warrant the strong protections that are included in the North Fork Alternative, 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 of the draft RMP in the proposed RMP
EXAMPLE COMMENT LETTER TO GOV POLIS
July 31, 2019
State Capitol Building
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 136,
Denver, CO 80203
Dear Governor Polis,
I am a resident of the North Fork Valley. I choose to live here because of the access to public lands that surround me. In my free time, I am often found hiking and backpacking in the National Conservation Areas, National Forests, and National Parks in the surrounding area. I most value the ability to experience solitude, hike in well preserved landscapes, and observe the incredible wildlife protected within the North Fork Valley’s public lands. Furthermore, I understand the importance of sustainable management of Colorado’s public lands, as they provide critical air and water resources to the communities that surround them.
That’s why I was disappointed with the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed RMP for the Uncompahgre Field Office. First, the BLM created a whole new alternative, Alternative E, which was not included in the draft RMP. Alternative E heavily favors the extractive industries, and does not protect the values that I cherish on my public lands. The proposed RMP eliminates or significantly reduces important conservation designations like Ecological Emphasis Areas, Areas of Critical Environmental Concerns, and Lands with Wilderness Characteristics. The proposed plan lacks critical protections for domestic and irrigation water sources, leaving our farms, orchards, ranches, and way of life in the North Fork Valley at risk.
By signing HB 1261 and SB 181 into law, you proved that you value a sustainable climate future for Colorado and are willing to stand up for health and safety of the public from oil and gas operations. The climate goals that you set out to attain will not be achieved if the proposed RMP is allowed to go into effect as written. The proposed RMP is drastically misaligned with your vision of Colorado’s future.
I strongly urge you, Governor Polis, to adopt the protections that the community fought hard for in the North Fork Alternative. The North Fork Alternative is a plan conceived, developed, and submitted to the BLM by businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the community which provides a baseline level of protections necessary to preserve our way of life in the North Fork Valley. The strongest level of protection for resources of particular concern that warrant the strong protections that are included in the North Fork Alternative must be included in the Proposed RMP, such as water supplies and riparian area protections; protections for the scenic qualities of the valley and our ‘million dollar’ viewsheds; and protections for undeveloped wildlife lands including winter range and migration corridors.
If you are short on time, sign your name on to the Wilderness Society’s form letter
Although a personalized letter is better, if you don’t have time to write a full letter, the Wilderness Society has made it easy to get something quick out to Governor Polis. The TWS letter can be found here.
WSCC is so fortunate for all of the help the Wilderness Society has done for us in aiding in our efforts to protect the North Fork, including naming the North Fork Valley as one of their 20 places that are “Too Wild To Drill”. They even built us a story map, which represents the potential development of well pads in the North Fork Valley under the BLM’s Plan.