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Last Updated:
02/22/2019 15:30:08 MST
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Sutey Ranch Land Use Plan Amendment

The Proposed Sutey Ranch/Haines Parcel Land Use Plan Amendment is now available.

Release of the Final Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Final EA initiates a 30-day protest period for any person who previously participated in the planning process and has an interest that is (or may be) adversely affected by the proposed plan.

The protest regulations specify the required elements for filing a valid protest.  To help guide you through this process, we have created a Critical Item Checklist.  As much as possible, cite specific planning documents or available planning records (e.g. meeting minutes or summaries, correspondence, etc.) in your protest. 

All protests must be in writing and filed with the BLM Director, either as a hard copy or electronically via BLM’s ePlanning website by the close of the protest period.  The only electronic protests the BLM will accept are those filed through ePlanning.  All protest letters sent to the BLM via fax or e-mail will be considered invalid unless a properly filed protest is also submitted.

The ePlanning page for each planning project will contain a tool for submitting a valid protest electronically.  The link to the respective ePlanning project page where a protest may be filed will be included in the Notice of Availability for the proposed LUPA and final EA, and in related news releases and Dear Reader letters.

Hard copy protests must be mailed to one of the following addresses, postmarked by the close of the protest period:

Regular Mail:
Director (210)
Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210 
P.O. Box 71383  
Washington, D.C. 20024-1383

Overnight Mail (non-USPS delivery service):
Director (210)
Attention: Protest Coordinator, WO-210
20 M St SE, Room 2134LM
Washington, D.C. 20003 

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The BLM will decide on the appropriate management plan for the Sutey Ranch and the Haines parcel through this EA process. The decisions in the EA predominantly consist of land use plan-level decisions.  Implementation decisions such as route designations, additional facility development (e.g. round pens and hitching posts), parking area development and habitat treatment areas will be considered at a site-specific level in subsequent NEPA analysis. The land use plan-level decisions will be protestable during the 30-day protest period, while any implementation decisions contained in this document will be appealable after the decision is issued or when the NEPA document is signed that approves the on-the-ground project.  See the BLM’s Land Use Planning Handbook (BLM 2005) for a more detailed description of the types of decisions in this EA. 

By designating seasons of use for the various recreational interests on the Sutey parcel, (i.e., hunters, mountain bikers and equestrian users), the Proposed Amendment would reduce conflicts between visitors and provide a balanced approach between wildlife, recreational opportunities and agricultural use.

Background. 

On March 27, 2017, the BLM closed on the Sutey Land Exchange. As part of the land exchange, the Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO) will develop a site-specific management plan for the two acquired parcels that will address all land use planning issues as well as site-specific management.  

The Sutey Ranch BLM parcel contains approximately 557 acres of land and is located about 4 miles north of Carbondale, Colorado. It includes ditch water rights for approximately 2.25 cubic feet per second, decreed to the Park Ditch and Reservoir Company, and 50 acre-feet of water storage rights. It contains big game and wild turkey habitat and is in an area where large blocks of undeveloped habitat are rapidly disappearing due to residential development. In addition to its natural resource values and ability to enhance hunting access, the Sutey Ranch parcel has the potential to increase recreation access to the northeast portion of the Red Hill Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). The BLM manages the SRMA in partnership with the local Red Hill Council.  The Red Hill SRMA receives more than 55,000 visitors per year, Visitors participate in hiking, running mountain biking, horseback riding and hunting.  

The Haines parcel consists of approximately 112 acres located 5 miles southeast of Carbondale on the west side of an area known as The Crown. This parcel is bordered by BLM lands to the east with private land to the north. This parcel currently serves as one of four recreational access points along the Prince Creek Road to BLM’s popular Crown SRMA.  The Crown SRMA is another regional mountain biking destination and is also popular for fall big game hunting.  The CRVFO manages the Crown SRMA in partnership with the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association. Both SRMAs provide visitors and residents easy access to outdoor recreational activities and support local recreation-related businesses and tourism.

Planning Process.  

Public input and collaboration with municipal agencies, such as local governments and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, has been a key part of developing a site-specific management plan for the parcels. The site-specific management plan has been developed within a framework of applicable laws, policies, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis, public participation, and the 2015 Colorado River Valley Field Office Resource Management Plan.

Preliminary planning issues include: recreation management and a potential to expand the SRMAs, big game and wild turkey habitat conservation, travel management, maintaining the existing ranchlands, opening the ranchlands to grazing, utilizing the ranch’s water rights, public outreach and education, cultural resources, Native American concerns, fuels management and invasive non-native weed species.


*Maps of the Sutey parcel and the Haines parcel can be found by navigating to the "Maps" section on the menu at left.

 
 
 
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