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BLM plans for Colorado and California restrict drilling and recreational activities
BLM plans for Colorado and California restrict drilling and recreational activities

The Bureau of Land Management on Friday pushed forward updates to land-use plans in Colorado and California that would restrict oil and gas production and certain recreational uses on nearly 800,000 acres in response to global warming.

The BLM has issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement outlining management changes for 1.6 million acres of BLM lands in the Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction field offices in western Colorado, including closing more than 1 million acres to future oil and natural gas leasing.

The agency also released a final environmental impact study analyzing updates to the Northwest California Integrated Resource Management Plan, which covers 382,200 acres along the state’s north coast. It highlights future sea level rise from climate warming as one of the reasons for establishing 26 new “areas of critical environmental concern” (ACECs), covering 87,890 acres, or nearly a quarter of the planning area.

“By considering the expected impacts of climate change during the planning process, the BLM can make management decisions that reflect the expected impacts on resources at risk to ensure that public lands and ecosystems are resilient to sea level rise, increasing temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns,” the final environmental impact statement for California’s plan states.

By Everly