Public land owners have a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to help shape public land management on nearly 800,000 acres in Southwest Idaho! The Four Rivers Field Office of the BLM is taking public comments until August 22nd on a proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP). This RMP is likely to be the guiding management document for the next 20 years or more. The key is making sure YOU use your voice to let the BLM know that you want the land managed in such a way to ensure high quality wildlife habitat and excellent hunting and angling opportunities.
This plan covers land that stretches from Brownlee Reservoir on the west to the Bennett Hills on the east. This vast area provides a wide variety of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities and it holds vital habitat for big game, upland birds, and a multitude of fish.
There are 2 simple ways for you to comment on this RMP. First, you can attend any of the scheduled public meetings (see schedule below) and comment in person. Secondly, you can send an email to Four_Rivers_RMP@blm.gov. Remember that all comments must be submitted by August 22, 2019.
We encourage you to read the BLM’s draft RMP and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which can be found at THIS LINK. The RMP and EIS are very large and comprehensive documents (100+ pages). BHA has reviewed the plan and has provided some suggested talking points below which you are welcome to use. We suggest you personalize your comments as you see fit.
Remember, this is a very rare and opportunity, please do not let it slip by. This BLM plan will determine the future management of these lands and therefore have direct impact on fish, wildlife, recreation and your hunting and fishing opportunities. Idaho BHA urges you to get involved to ensure that the best habitats are conserved and public access for hunting and fishing is maintained.
Public meetings – Each meeting is from 4PM-7PM
June 18: Boise District Office 3948 S Development Avenue, Boise ID 83705
June 25: Weiser High School 690 W Indianhead Rd, Weiser, ID 83672
June 26: Emmett Junior High School 301 E 4th St, Emmett, ID 83617
June 27: Mountain Home Junior High School 1600 E 6th S St, Mountain Home, ID 83647
Suggested talking points
- I feel the best way for the BLM to ensure high quality big game range in the Bennett Hills would be to designate the Bennett Hills area as a Backcountry Conservation Area (BCA). I suggest including a BCA for the Bennett Hills area in the preferred alternative in the RMP. This would provide an excellent mix of wildlife habitat and seasonal migration protection and allow for ample sportsmen’s access. This area is home to one of Idaho’s most iconic mule deer populations and providing habitat protection would safeguard the economies and traditions that depend on the deer in this area.
- It is important to me that the Four Rivers BLM Field Office’s RMP revision conserve valuable big game winter range and popular hunting areas throughout the RMP. I would like to see the BLM prioritize areas that big game depend on for winter range and for wildlife migration. Our big game herds benefit when their migration paths and winter range have high quality habitat and minimal human-caused disturbance. I ask that the BLM work with Idaho Fish & Game to learn about currently known wildlife migration corridors and discuss studying other wildlife migrations that have yet to be analyzed.
- I encourage the BLM to inventory parcels of public lands that are currently legally inaccessible to the public and identify places where potential public access to these lands could be created.