BLM seeks comment on river permits
Summer is right around the corner and that means outdoor recreation opportunities of every stripe are waiting, just months away, to be enjoyed.
While many folks who vacation and recreate in the high country flock to alpine trails and sheer rock walls for their sense of excitement the creeks and rivers that run through our region offer plenty of unique opportunities for fun on public lands.
In Grand County we have incredible fly-fishing streams and the mighty Colorado River provides unparalleled local access for rafting and float fishing. While some of the Colorado River runs through private land most of the land downstream from the Gore Canyon is public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Part of the BLM’s overall administration of the use of the Colorado River is the permitting of commercial enterprises. In early March the BLM issued a press release seeking public comment on 18 commercial special recreation permits (SRPs) for services on the Colorado River in both Grand and Eagle counties.
The BLM is seeking comments on the safety histories of the various applicants, conflicts on public lands associated with applicants or their employees and, “any other information that would be useful to the agency as it considers the applications.” Comments must be received by March 31, 2016.
The release was issued out of the BLM’s Kremmling Field Office and states in part, “the BLM issues commercial SRPs for recreation businesses to provide specific services to the public on BLM lands and to ensure a fair return to the public for commercial use of public lands.” Commercial entities pay a fee to the BLM for their permits.
David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist with the BLM explained the value of allowing commercial enterprises to operate through permits on the river. “Our special recreation permits can really enhance the public’s experience on public land,” Boyd said. “A number of people would not be able to float the Colorado River without commercial outfitters. The recreation opportunity reaches a much wider group of people. It is the same with fly-fishing guides; they have the expertise and equipment that allows more people to enjoy public lands.”
This year the BLM is reviewing applications for 16 permit renewals and two new permits for the upper Colorado River. A full list of applicants is available on the BLM’s Web site at, http://www.blm.gov/co/KFO. To provide comment on the applications contact Shane Dittlinger at the Kremmling Field Office, 970-724-3000, or via email at email@example.com.
The press release from the BLM closes by stating, “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 publically 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.”
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Rep. Joe Neguse is pushing to improve access and funding for public lands in Colorado and around the country.