Natural Resources


Assessment, preservation, and development of natural resources to ensure the safety, health, enjoyment, and economic well-being of present and future generations of Rio Blanco County.

Services Provided

Assist the public, industry, and commerce in resolution of issues related to resource development permitting. Maintain effective inter-governmental relations to develop sound, multiple-use resource management policies on public lands. Assert and protect Rio Blanco County’s interests, and negotiate an appropriate balance among competing interests regarding the use and management of natural resources.

The Rio Blanco County Land and Natural Resources Plan and Policies

Rio Blanco County and the White River Conservation and the Douglas Creek Conservation Districts partnered together to develop a comprehensive plan regarding natural resources with direction guided by individuals, experts, and local landowners. The Board of County Commissioners believes that one of the Board's primary responsibilities is to ensure that policies are adopted which facilitate, protect, and preserve the utilization and conservation of natural resources on the federal and public lands located within the County. The Land and Natural Resoruces Plan and Policies (LUP) was adopted on May 20, 2016 to identify and document policies which support access to and wise use of natural resources on federal land; protect private property rights; protect and enhance the customs, cultures, and the economy; protect the tax base; assure the well-being of the people; and provide for the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Rio Blanco County. 

As a local government the County can have cooperating and coordinating agency status with the federal agencies.  The LUP policies are used through these government-to-government interactions to provide input and guide the federal land management agencies during their planning processes.  The LUP policies are also used by the County to provide written and verbal comments at various agency meetings, state, and federal legislative hearings, etc.

On July 9, 2022, the Board of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco County, Colorado and the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts adopted the 2022 Amended and Updated Land and Natural Resources Plan and Policies. 

To review the currently adopted Land and Natural Resources Plan and Policies, please contact the Natural Resources Department at (970) 878-9586.

  1. Eddie Smercina

    Emergency & Natural Resources Manager