Land and Natural Resources Plan and Policies – Rio Blanco County, Colorado

Published May 23rd, 2016 by Budd-Falen Law Offices, L.L.C.


The White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts (Districts) are made up of locally elected landowners who provide leadership in the wise use of the natural
resources within the Districts’ boundaries. Conservation districts in Colorado are defined as “local governments” thus have the ability to participate in government-to-government interactions with the federal agencies. The Districts are joining with Rio Blanco County to develop a Land & Natural Resource Use Plan and Policy (Plan) to translate their statutory mandate (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-70-108) into land management policy and direction guided by local landowners. One of the Districts’ responsibilities is: “To prepare a plan for the care, treatment, and operation of the lands within the district.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-70-108(1)(k). Additionally, Colorado conservation districts were created by the state legislature to provide for constructive methods of land use providing for the conservation and preservation of natural resources, including adequate underground water reserves, the control of wind and water erosion, and the reduction of damage resulting from floods. The purposes of the conservation districts are to “insure the health, prosperity, and welfare of the state of Colorado and its people . . .” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 35-70-102.  By state statute, Colorado county governments, like Rio Blanco County, have authority to (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 30-11-101(k)): Coordinate, pursuant to 43 U.S.C. sec. 1712, the “National Environmental Policy Act of 1969”, 42 U.S.C. sec. 4321 et seq., 40 U.S.C. sec. 3312, 16 U.S.C. sec. 530, 16 U.S.C. sec. 1604, and 40 C.F.R. parts 1500 to 1508, with the United States secretary of the Interior and the United
States secretary of Agriculture to develop land management plans that address hazardous fuel removal  and  other  forest  management  practices,  water development and
conservation measures, watershed protection,  the  protection  of  air  quality,  public  utilities protection, and private property protection on federal lands within such  County’s jurisdiction.  Thus, based on these statutory authorities, the policies and powers of the Districts and Rio Blanco County encompass the obligation to protect the customs and culture of the local citizens, to provide for community stability, and to protect the natural environment and resources. The purpose of this land use plan is to be a guide to efficiently  and  effectively  use  the  resources  while  protecting  the environment.

Click below for complete Land Use Plan

2016.05.20 Rio Blanco Land Use Plan Final


Speaking Engagements

  • The Kansas Natural Resource Coalition

    This conference examines statutory requirements as the basis for effective engagement of federal agencies in land use planning and general negotiations. Participants will learn sound principals for local government acting as gatekeeper for local economies, agriculture, business, industry and properties.

    March 28, 2017 | United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

    More Info
  • AZ Strip Range Livestock Workshop

    Karen Budd-Falen will provide a presentation on County Resource Management Plans and how they are intended to work with the federal agencies during this conference, which will be held April 4, 2017 through April 5, 2017.

    April 4, 2017 | Hurricane, Utah and Orderville, Utah

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

  • 2017 Women in Agriculture Conference

    Karen Budd-Falen is speaking at the Women in Agriculture Conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico in May 2017. She will be discussing topics related to legislation and litigation. Her daughter, Sarah Falen, will also be a special speaker on the topic of self-defense and the importance of personal safety.

    May 30, 2017 | Las Cruces, NV

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen

  • 2017 Energy & Natural Resources Section Summit

    2017 ENR Section Summit on June 8 and 9, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Casper, WY is co-hosted by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) and Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies (CLERR). This event will include an afternoon of live CLE programming, including ethics, and dinner reception on June 8. There is a live streaming option for those who cannot attend in person. June 9 is a fully-guided fly fishing trip on the North Platte River for those who sign up (no fishing experience required).

    June 8, 2017 | Hilton Garden Inn, Casper Wyoming

    Speaker: Karen Budd-Falen


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