BLM seeking comments on closing public lands near Meeker area

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The Bureau of Land Management is now seeking public comment on a proposal to temporarily close access to public lands 15 miles north of Meeker for safety reasons.

The proposed 24-month closure would prohibit public access to 1,850 acres of public land near the Colowyo Mine in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. The area of the proposed closure does not include all lands associated with the Colowyo Mine and only extends to a distance necessary to provide safety to visitors and mine employees.
The public would still have access to other public lands in the area.
“Public safety is of the highest importance to the Bureau of Land Management,” said White River Field Manager Kent Walter. Walter said the closure is meant to prevent members of the public from entering areas adjacent to active mine activity during blasting and other operations. Dangerous situations often arise during hunting season, placing employees and the public both in danger.
“This closure would minimize the potential for the recreating public to be exposed to mining hazards and ensure miners are not put at undue risk,” Walter said.
Colowyo Coal Co. LP has operated an open pit mine in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties since 1977.
Comments regarding this proposal can be mailed to Heather Sauls, White River Field Office, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, Colo. 81641 or submitted via email to hsauls@blm.gov. Comments would be most helpful if received by Sept. 26, 2014.
Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment — including your personal identifying information — may be made publicly available at any time.
“While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so,” Walter said.