The BLM developed four alternatives for managing BLM lands in the planning area. The goal of developing alternatives was to prepare different combinations of resource uses and allocations to address issues and to resolve conflicts among uses. The four draft alternatives, and a fifth partial alternative, represent the overall range of reasonable management strategies.
The Preferred Alternative represents the BLM's approach for balancing resource protections with resource uses. However, none of the alternatives represents the final decision. A Proposed RMP will be developed following this public comment period. In developing the Proposed RMP, the BLM may select various management actions from any or each alternative in the Draft RMP/EIS.
ALTERNATIVE A (NO ACTION) – Alternative A, referred to as “No Action,” is the continuation of present management based on management decisions in the 1985 San Juan/San Miguel RMP and 1989 Uncompahgre Basin RMP and their amendments. Goals and objectives for BLM-administered lands and mineral estate would not change. The emphasis would be on maintaining the existing land management direction for physical, biological, cultural, and historic resource values along with recreational, social, and economic land uses. The BLM would not establish additional criteria or change present criteria to guide the identification of site-specific use levels for implementation activities.
ALTERNATIVE B – Alternative B emphasizes improving, rehabilitating, and restoring resources and sustaining the ecological integrity of habitats for all priority plant, wildlife, and fish species, while allowing appropriate development scenarios for allowable uses. Goals and objectives focus on environmental and social outcomes achieved by sustaining relatively unmodified physical landscapes and natural and cultural resource values for current and future generations. This alternative would establish the most special designations with specific measures to protect or enhance resource values. Appropriate and allowable uses and restrictions would be contingent on minimizing impacts on natural and cultural resources.
ALTERNATIVE B.1 – Alternative B.1 is a partial alternative submitted by an advocacy group. It is specific to oil and gas leasing and development in the North Fork and Smith Fork drainages of the Gunnison River (referred to as North Fork), primarily in portions of Delta and Gunnison Counties. This partial alternative is a subset of Alternative B and applies only to the North Fork Alternative Plan area. The North Fork Alternative Plan would close certain areas to oil and gas leasing and would also impose development setbacks with strict surface use restrictions in places where leasing may be allowed.
ALTERNATIVE C – Appropriate and allowable uses and restrictions would emphasize maximizing utilization of resources, while mitigating impacts on land health. Management direction would recognize and expand existing uses, and accommodate new uses to the greatest extent possible. The appropriate development scenarios for allowable uses (such as mineral leasing, locatable mineral development, ROWs, renewable energy, and livestock grazing) would emphasize maximizing resource production in an environmentally responsible manner, while maintaining the basic protection needed to sustain resources.
ALTERNATIVE D (PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE) – The BLM’s Preferred Alternative emphasizes balancing resources and resource use among competing human interests, land uses, and the conservation of natural and cultural resource values, while sustaining and enhancing ecological integrity across the landscape. This alternative incorporates a balanced level of protection, restoration, enhancement, and use of resources and services to meet ongoing programs and land uses. Goals and objectives focus on environmental, economic, and social outcomes achieved by strategically addressing demands across the landscape.