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Coloradans deeply value our public lands, not only because they provide important health and economic benefits, but also because they make our beautiful state what it is. The 8.3 million acres of federally-managed public lands within Colorado that are overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are particularly important.

Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker

These lands support a diverse array of outdoor recreation activities and create jobs through the tourism sector that are the backbone of many of our communities. They also provide important wildlife habitat and corridors which are integral to an intact ecosystem that make it easier for species to adapt to climate change.

As a county commissioner in a rural community in Colorado, I commend the BLM on a recent agency Public Lands Rule announcement that prioritizes the health of public lands and places conservation and recreation on par with so-called extractive uses.

When used wisely, BLM conservation mechanisms – including well-managed grazing - can support our local economies, tourism, and outdoor recreation as well as provide financial security for our rural and gateway communities so we can make long-term investments. We look forward to this rule-making process and modernizing management policies to allow for increased recreational opportunities and access to nature.

Public comments on the Public Land Rule will be accepted through the 75-day public comment period – now through June 20, 2023 via this link for the Conservation and Landscape Health Rule.

Keith Baker


Chaffee Board of County Commissioners