The Buffalo Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the future management of 782,000 acres of Federal public land within Campbell, Johnson and Sheridan Counties.
The plan lays out four management alternatives. Alternative A is how the land is currently managed and is the baseline for comparing the other three alternatives. Alternative B would close 7% of the planning area to recreational shooting and, in contrast, Alternative C would open the entire planning area to recreational shooting. Under Alternative D (BLM’s preferred approach), two areas currently closed to shooting would remain so -- Burnt Hollow and Welch Ranch – and a temporary closure to shooting on Weston Hills would be lifted on that portion of the area managed by the BLM (not on the area managed by the US Forest Service).
In several areas where there are issues associated with recreational shooting, the BLM proposes to increase education and enforcement of target shooting regulations with the proviso that if objectives are not reached to reduce issues and conflicts, the BLM may take more direct action that could include temporary or permanent closures. In this regard, the BLM states in the draft RMP that it desires to “establish partnerships with shooting sports organizations or other interested agencies or organizations to accommodate opportunities for shooting sports on public lands.”
The NRA is a signatory to a national memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the BLM and other Federal agencies to promote hunting and recreational shooting on Federal public lands. Under the MOU, the NRA is in partnership with the BLM. However, it is critical that hunters and shooters who recreate on the lands managed by the Buffalo Field Office reach out to the BLM to forge partnerships and volunteer opportunities to help ensure that hunting and recreational shooting, which are legitimate and traditional activities on these lands, are assured of a strong future.
With respect to hunting, the plan does not accommodate the use of motorized vehicles for big game retrieval except to the degree it is allowed 300 ft. off a designated road, the same distance that a camper can be driven off the road and parked.
Public comments are due by September 26th and can be submitted by any of the following methods:
- BLM NEPA Web site
- Fax: (307) 684-1122
- Mail: Thomas Bills, Buffalo RMP, BLM Buffalo Field Office, 1425 Fort Street, Buffalo, WY 82834
- By personal delivery to the Buffalo Field Office or at a BLM-hosted public meeting.
For more information on the BFO RMP revision contact Thomas Bills at (307) 684-1133.
The NRA strongly encourages hunters and shooters to get actively involved in this planning process because it will chart the course for your future use and enjoyment of these lands. Your review and comments on the contents of this RMP is critical. Attached are comments that NRA filed along with several other national hunting and shooting sports organizations.