Commissioners to Discuss BLM Draft Resource Management Plan

Commissioners to Discuss BLM Draft Resource Management Plan

SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County Commission will discuss the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Rock Springs area during its regularly scheduled meeting this week.

The 90-day comment period for the RMP opened August 18 and closes November 16.

According to the BLM, the purpose of the land use plan is to establish guidance, objectives, policies, and management actions for public lands administered by the Rock Springs Field Office (RSFO). The plan is comprehensive and is supposed to resolve and address issues within the RSFO jurisdictional boundaries which are identified through agency, interagency and public scoping efforts. Additionally, the plan will update management decisions about Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, oil and gas development, lands and realty, and renewable energy. 

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However, the draft RMP has been met with scrutiny from different agencies and offices throughout Wyoming, with even Governor Mark Gordon chiming in with criticism.

“Upon first glance, I am extremely disappointed, yet not surprised, by the redirection this Administration is taking with this draft,” Governor Gordon said in a press release in August. “Over a decade’s worth of work from Wyoming’s cooperating agencies, local stakeholders, and impacted industries seems to have fallen on the deaf ears of the federal BLM and its imperious agenda. I know I am not alone in my desire to review this draft with a fine-tooth comb. I will protect the interests of the State of Wyoming and make sure they pay attention to the good work being done at the state and local level as we move ahead.”

The Commissioners will take their meeting as an opportunity to discuss the RMP prior to a set of public meetings to take place in September regarding the BLM’s draft, with one happening in Rock Springs on Wednesday, September 27, from 3-6 p.m. at the Rock Springs BLM office.

Other Business

Castle Rock Ambulance Services will provide a quarterly update on services on Tuesday. Castle Rock is currently contracted to provide county-wide ambulance services. Recently, a group of Castle Rock ambulance employees petitioned for a union election before withdrawing the petition just last week.

The Commission will also consider approval of a request for $6,112 in Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Funds to add a duress button alarm system at the Sweetwater County Detention Center. This is part of a security upgrade the Commission previously approved for $990,000 in the same funds. KUBL Group completed the project in June 2023 but the duress button alarm system was not part of the initial contract, despite being identified during testing.

The project has a remaining balance of $17,457, and the duress button alarm system project costs approximately $23,570.

The Sweetwater County Commission will meet Tuesday, September 5, at 9 a.m. at the Sweetwater County Courthouse. To view the full meeting agenda and packet, click here.