TUCSON — The Bureau of Land Management published the Record of Decision approving the Resource Management Plan for the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, located near Sierra Vista.

The approved plan prioritizes active resource management and allows for a broad array of management tools for ecosystem restoration and conservation stewardship.

Highlights of the plan include the expansion of areas open to licensed hunting, provisions for a diverse mix of recreation opportunities for families to enjoy and continued grazing on existing allotments.

The decision increases outdoor recreation opportunities and enhances conservation stewardship in support of Secretary’s Order 3366, “Increasing Recreation Opportunities on Lands and Waters Managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior,” and Secretary’s Order 3347, “Conservation Stewardship and Outdoor Recreation.”

“The RMP gives us more flexibility to successfully manage the area’s important resources,” said BLM Gila District Manager Scott Feldhausen. “We look forward to working with our partners in the coming years to actively manage the area through shared conservation stewardship.”

The BLM worked with federal, state, local, tribal governments and the public to develop a range of alternatives, including the BLM preferred alternative, in a draft RMP/environmental impact statement. Based on analysis and public response to the draft document, the BLM developed the proposed RMP/final environmental impact statement and publicly released it for a 30-day protest period April 29. All protests were resolved before the record of decision was signed.

The approved resource management plan and record of decision are available on the BLM ePlanning website at https://go.usa.gov/xQKFU.

The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, part of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System, was established by Congress in 1988. The southern boundary of the national conservation area borders Mexico; the northern boundary is just south of Benson. The national conservation area contains about 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River and approximately 55,990 acres of public lands located within Cochise County.

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