The BLM took the right approach today when they opened the door to collaborative planning for growth and conservation at the doorstep of Dinosaur National Monument in northwest Colorado.
Its Dinosaur Trail Master Leasing Plan is a major step in the right direction, but it’s not over yet. This approach allows stakeholders to get together discuss which areas are ripe for oil and gas development, and which should be conserved to protect their value to the outdoor recreation and hunting and angling economies.
Here’s 3 reasons why this is a way to do land management planning for Colorado’s economy:
- Public lands are big business for tourism and recreation in the area:According to a 2013 National Park Service Report, Dinosaur National Monument received 275,000 visits that year, and visitors pumped $15.8 million into the local economy. This smart from the start approach will allow stakeholders in the outdoor recreation economy to make sure this important resource for their businesses isn’t jepordized.
- This MLP marks a new direction for the BLM’s Colorado state office:Colorado’s last BLM state director actually considered oil and gas leasing next to the park’s visitor center. This time around, the Bureau is slowing down and taking a step back before making rash decisions.
- Dinosaur Trail strikes the right balance between oil and gas development and conservation: The MLP area covers a “422,800 acre area that includes 357,800 acres of federal minerals.” Under the MLP, about 220,000 acres near Dinosaur National Monument would be deferred for leasing until future land management plans are completed.