Farmington Daily Times, "Bureau of Land Management holds meetings for input on land use plan in the Mancos and Gallup play areas."

Another concern people have raised centers around Chaco Culture National Park.

”The big thing is, we would like to see Chaco and the preservation of the park considered in part with any development plans the BLM should come up with,” said Tom Pittenger, spokesman for the Park Rangers for Our Parks organization out of Dolores, Colo.

He said the plan needs to include measures that protect the air quality of the area since the park has a nighttime observatory.

He noted that BLM has withdrawn some leasing options near the park, and he hopes that type of regard for the park continues.

”Balance is a word we use a lot. There has to be a balance of development and preservation of the area,” Pittenger said.

New Mexico Wildlife Federation representatives hope the plan will incorporate provisions to protect wildlife in northwest New Mexico.

”We would truly like to see a master plan that takes into consideration the big game migration corridors. We have some the biggest elk and deer herds from Colorado and the Jemez Mountains,” said Garrett VeneKlasen, executive director of the federation, in a phone interview before Wednesday’s meeting.

He added that if the resource management plan is created irresponsibly, it could negatively affect recreational outdoor activities. Hunting and fishing is a $600 million industry for New Mexico and supports about 8,000 jobs statewide, he noted.

”We need make sure our water sheds are protected,” he said, “We’re not anti-development. We just want to make sure (the plan) is done in a responsible way.”

He added that groups should work together to find solutions to the plan.

”New Mexico has two great assets. They are culture and land. Let’s sustain that well into the future,” he said.