The Draft Rock Springs RMP is Finally Here!
After more than a decade under revision, the draft Rock Spring Resource Management Plan has finally been made public.
As written, the draft RMP has unprecedented potential to protect Red Desert wildlands. WWA is celebrating the preferred alternative; if finalized, this alternative will provide long-needed protections for some of the most critical wildlands in Wyoming’s beloved Red Desert. There is and will be pushback. We need your help to ensure these protections are realized in the final plan.
WWA is taking special care to give you the necessary tools and resources to have a say in how this special landscape is managed for our future. The release of the draft resource management plan (RMP) marks the beginning of a 90 day public comment period. Please review our wildland highlights below and stay tuned for further analysis.
For questions on the comment period or how to submit, please reach out to our BLM Wildlands Organizer, Lauren Marsh: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the landscape
The Red Desert of Wyoming's Great Divide Basin encompasses one of the last great intact tracts of high desert in the United States. Standing amidst miles of undulating white sand dunes–the largest living dune field in North America–it is possible to gaze at nearby volcanic buttes gushing with springs, candy-colored badlands once deposited beneath an ancient sea and snow-capped granitic mountains a hundred miles away. Dark, starry skies abound, and vastness is tangible. Wildlife is abundant: Wyoming’s largest desert elk herd thrives here. The longest mule deer migration corridor connects the southern reaches of the Red Desert to Wyoming’s high peaks. The highest concentration of sage-grouse in the world call these lands home. And it has one of the highest raptor densities in the United States.
Since time immemorial this region has been the ancestral homelands and migratory territory for numerous Tribal Nations. The Red Desert was originally recognized as Shoshone Territory within the 1863 Fort Bridger Treaty, and today Tribal members including Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho, Ute, and many others continue to use these lands to camp, gather foods, hunt, continue spiritual practices at numerous sacred sites, and share Indigenous Knowledges or Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Local communities treasure this landscape for its opportunities for solitude, responsible recreation, hunting, working grazing lands, energy development, and rich pioneer history touched by outlaws, a gold rush, the Oregon Trail and more.
Rock Springs RMP Revision Timeline
RMP Revision begins! Public Scoping notice is published in the Federal Register. Public scoping is intended to help the BLM understand the values and resources of the lands it manages that are most important to the public, Tribal Nations, industry, and non-profit partners. WWA works with a coalition of partner organizations to make sure the BLM is incorporating important resource concerns into its revision process.
Resource Management Plans are carefully designed to provide a strategic plan that will ideally remain relevant for at least 10 years. When the plan is no longer relevant or environmentally adequate, the BLM initiates a lengthy revision process that begins with a public scoping period. This is followed by a public release of a draft plan that includes several alternatives for consideration. Once public input is received and edits to the draft are made, a Record of Decision is released announcing the final, approved plan. Public input is gathered throughout the process and helps inform the nature of the plan.
2023 Preferred Alternative: Alternative B
1.6 million acres of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern with strong management prescriptions
Across 16 Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, 6 of which are new to this iteration of the Plan
227,960 acres across 13 Wilderness Study Areas
All Wilderness Study Areas within the planning area are partially or wholly overlapped by new and existing ACEC designations
Lands with Wilderness Characteristics:
63,918 acres have been identified as Lands with WildernessCharacteristics and will be managed to preserve their wilderness values