BLM still accepting scoping comments on Bighorn Basin RMP

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BLM still accepting scoping comments on Bighorn Basin RMP

Postby Evan G » Nov 20, 2008 2:42 pm

I just found out myself and I'll try to get everyone up to speed on what this means (BLM= Bureau of Land Management administers 264 million acres of public lands)

What is the Bighorn Basin Planning Area?

The Planning Area for the Project includes lands within the BLM Worland and Cody Field Offices’ administrative boundaries, in all of Big Horn, Park and Washakie Counties, and most of Hot Springs County in north-central Wyoming. The Planning Area includes all lands, regardless of jurisdiction; however, the BLM will only make decisions on lands that fall under the BLM’s jurisdiction. Lands within the Planning Area under BLM’s jurisdiction make up the Decision Area. The Decision Area consists of BLM-administered surface, totaling 3.2 million acres, and mineral estate, totaling 4.2 million acres. The Planning Area includes 12 wilderness study areas (WSAs), nine Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs), two areas of Special Designation, and seven Special Recreation Management Areas.

Bighorn Basin RMP planning area map:

So what! you ask?

This includes:

    Great X Preserve: The BLM owns the Great eXit and most of the cave, the NSS only owns and manages a small portion of the eight mile cave.
    All Caves near Great X: Tres Charros, P-Bar, Spanish Point Cave, Bad Medicine Cave, and more
    Horsethief Cave: Half of the Horsethief-Bighorn System 14.6 cave system
    Little Mountain karst area
    Cottonwood Creek Canyon
    Holey Sheep cave
    Radio & Mexican Hill Karst areas (which has about 200 pits and caves)
    Spirit Mountain and Rattlesnake karst area
    And much, much, more

The area size is much, much bigger than Yellowstone Park. Bighorn Basin RMP planning area map:

This is a HUGE opportunity for the NSS to be directly involve in the making of policy that directly affects Caves, Karst Areas, Caving and of course Great X which the NSS has a large stake in and involvement.

November 14, 2008

Caleb Hiner
BLM still accepting
scoping comments on Bighorn Basin RMP

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that the public can continue to submit scoping comments on the Bighorn Basin Resource Management Plan (RMP) even though the formal scoping period was scheduled to end on Nov. 17, 2008.

Due to the high level of public interest and attendance at the scoping meetings, the BLM has extended the formal scoping period until November 24th. Comments should be postmarked no later than Nov. 24, 2008, to be included in the Scoping Report. Comments received after the formal period will be considered but may not be included in the report.

“Public involvement is an essential and required part of BLM’s planning process, and we encourage the public to continue to submit their scoping comments,” said Bighorn Basin RMP Project Lead Caleb Hiner.

Comments can be mailed to: BLM, PO Box 119, Worland, WY 82401-0119

Comments can be emailed to:

For more information on the Bighorn Basin RMP or the revision process, visit the project website at ... ghorn.html or contact Caleb Hiner at 307-347-5171 or email

- BLM -

The pdf of what this Management plan intention: Notice of intent ... at/NOI.pdf

The pdf on the Preparation Plan: ... ghorn.html ( I have been unable to open this pdf fully for some reason)

I have been in contact with Bryan M. the Cave lead for the Cody BLM feild office. We both feel that the involvement of the caving community is very important. Some issues that need to be addressed by this plan are:

    1) Creation of a withdrawal* area and underground wilderness area including all of Great X.
    2) The expansion of the withdrawal* area of the Little Mountain Karst Area.
    (* withdrawal means no mining, drilling, or commercialization of the area is allowed)
    3) Creation of a underground wilderness trail system within Horsethief Cave.
    4) Continued Radon study on Little Mounatin and Holey Sheep.
    5) An up to date cave SAR plan. (The Bighorn SAR is unequipped and ill trained to a rescue out of any cave in the Bighorn Basin)
    6) Individual Management plans for each karst area since each area has individual needs.
    7) There is much more that needs to be addressed. When is comes to caves in Wyoming the BLM is working with a blank slate and we as the NSS need to help fill in that slate.

For the next few days I will be working on helping the BLM come up with plans for cave resource management. Please post ideas, concerns, or other. We as the NSS can not sit because this will affect the management of BLM Wyoming caves for the coming 15 to 20 years. The deadline for comments is Nov. 24th, I'm going to try to get it extended.

Links of interest:

I will be posting more has events unfold
Also posted on Colorado forum: ... 3086#p3086

I'm working directly with the BLM Cody field office to get caves, karst areas, and caving to put on the Resource Management Plan (RMP) so we as the NSS have a voice on how the areas are managed and protected in Wyoming. I would like to see the members of the NSS getting directly involved with the poilcy making. Wyoming is a small state in population (522,830 people being 50th in population) but a large state in land mass (97,818 sq mi which is twice the size of Tennessee being 42,169 sq mi). Please help out no matter where you live these are public lands so they are owned by all of us in the United States of America. Your say is vital because it will affect policy for the coming 15 to 20 years. You never know you might want to visit your public lands here in Wyoming.
Evan G
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