U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning Uncompahgre Field Office Resource Management Plan  
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Last Updated:
01/11/2017 10:44:52 MST
Issues 
LAND USE PLANNING   Hanging Flume Overlook image  
BLM COLORADO SOUTHWEST DISTRICT    
 
 
 
     
  SPECIAL MANAGEMENT AREAS  
     
     
  AREAS OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN  
     
 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, commonly known as ACECs, are public lands where special management is required in order to protect the area's values.  To be eligible for designation as an ACEC, an area must meet criteria for both relevance and importance.

An ACEC possesses significant historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish or wildlife resources (including habitat, communities, or species), natural processes or systems, or natural hazards.  In addition, the significance of these values and resources must be substantial in order to satisfy the importance criteria.
 
ACECS UNDER CONSIDERATION
As part of the Uncompahgre RMP development process, existing ACECs were reevaluated to determine whether:
 
 • The relevant and important values are still present and require continued management attention
 • Threats of irreparable damage to the values have been identified
 • Current management is sufficient to protect the values.

In addition, new ACECs nominated during the public scoping period were evaluated for relevance and importance.  The results of these evaluations are detailed in the Draft ACEC Report for the Uncompahgre Planning Area and will be used to develop preferred alternatives for the RMP.
 
PROTECTING SIGNIFICANT VALUES
Restrictions arising from ACEC designation are proposed during formulation of the Final RMP.  Restrictions are designed to protect the values and/or serve the purposes for which the designation was made.

Management prescriptions are developed expressly to protect the important and relevant values of an area.  Such measures would not be necessary or prescribed if the critical and important features were not present.


Final ACEC Report for the Uncompahgre Planning Area
 
     
     
 
ACEC ACREAGE SIGNIFICANT VALUES
Adobe Badlands  6,383
• Scenic Mancos Shale hills, flats, and unique formations created by wind and water erosion
• Highly erodible and saline soils resulting in high sediment loads and very saline runoff
• Known and potential habitat for several federally endangered and threatened plant species
Fairview     210
• Large population of federally listed endangered plant species
• Significant populations of federal candidate plant species
Needle Rock       80
• Volcanic geological structure with high-value scientific, interpretive, and scenic characteristics
San Miguel River 22,780
• Unique, high quality riparian vegetation
• Relic riparian communities
• River corridor with high scenic value
Tabeguache Creek     560
• Important archaeological sites with a relationship between the Fremont and Anasazi cultures
 
     
     
     
  LANDS WITH WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS  
     
 
As part of the land use planning process for the Uncompahgre RMP, the BLM assessed public lands within the Uncompahgre Planning Area to determine whether wilderness characteristics are present outside of designated wilderness, existing wilderness study areas, and the congressionally-designated Tabeguache Area.   The BLM reviewed the original 1980 wilderness inventories, as well as lands proposed by BLM staff and the public, in order to identify lands with potential wilderness characteristics. Of the eight areas identified through the review, seven were found to possess wilderness characteristics.    The 2015 update was conducted in response to BLM Instruction Memorandum 2011-154: Requirement to Conduct and Maintain Inventory Information for Wilderness Characteristics and to Consider Lands with Wilderness Characteristics in Land Use Plans.
 
 
     
  Inventory of Uncompahgre Planning Area Lands with Wilderness Characteristics: 2015 Update  
     
     
 
ASSESSMENT AREA TOTAL INVENTORIED ACRES WITH WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS ACRES WITHOUT WILDERNESS CHARACTERISTICS
Camel Back WSA Adjacent 8,700 6,950 1,750
Adobe Badlands WSA Adjacent 16,520 6,180 10,340
Lower Tabeguache/Campbell Creek 11,200 11,060 140
Dolores River Canyon WSA Adjacent 32,650 550 32,100
Dry Creek Basin 16,890 7,030 9,850
Norwood Canyon 5,600 0 5,600
Roc Creek 7,650 5,480 2,170
Shavano Creek 6,100 4,900 1,200
 
     
     
     
WILD & SCENIC RIVERS  
     
 
Congress authorized the National Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSR) Act in 1968 to preserve certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Act safeguards the special character of these rivers, while allowing for their appropriate use and development, and encouraging river management that crosses political boundaries and promotes public participation in river protection.   The Act requires the BLM to assess river segments under its management as part of its resource management planning process.  The study and designation of rivers consists of a multi-step process: eligibility → suitability → congressional action.  Only Congress or (under certain circumstances) the Secretary of the Interior may designate a river for inclusion in the WSR system.  The UFO currently does not manage any WSR-designated segments.   The Southwest Resource Advisory Council Subgroup and Gunnison Basin stakeholder groups concluded public meetings and submitted their suitability recommendations for eligible segments in the Gunnison, Dolores, and San Miguel river basins to the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office.  These recommendations, as well as other public comments, are documented in the WSR Suitability Report and were considered during formulation of the preferred alternative for the Uncompahgre Resource Management Plan.
 
Wild and Scenic River Suitability Report for the BLM Uncompahgre Planning Area
 
     
     
     
 
 
Uncompahgre Field Manager
(970) 240-5300