Both environmental groups and an oil and gas industry trade group decried a final decision issued Monday by the federal Bureau of Land Management detailing acceptable uses of 1.3 million acres of public land in northwestern Colorado. The BLMâ¿¿s â¿¿Record of Decisionâ¿ on the Little Snake Resources Management Plan covered federal land in Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties, an area that includes the Vermillion Basin, thought to have a high potential for natural gas development. The decision ( available here) was issued by the BLMâ¿¿s Craig office. The final plan includes a decision to close the 77,000-acre Vermillion Basin to oil and gas operations for the duration of the plan â¿¿ about 20 years. The plan also details efforts to conserve habitat critical to sage grouse, considered a candidate for the â¿¿endangered speciesâ¿ listing. â¿¿There has been extensive public and cooperator involvement throughout this process, which began in 2004,â¿ said Wendy Reynolds, field manager of the Little Snake office. â¿¿We have used this involvement to develop a plan that balances protection of sensitive resources with resource use.â¿ But the Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas industry trade group, said the BLMâ¿¿s final plan dismisses a proposal crafted over many years by the public and energy companies. â¿¿The BLM talks about the extensive public and cooperating agency involvement, but they basically ignored the recommendations of counties and community groups and imposed a conservation-only approach that limits energy development, job creation and economic development in the local communities,â¿ said Kathleen Sgamma, director of government and public affairs for the alliance. Sgamma said a previous proposal, put forward by community groups and the industry, suggested allowing energy development in the Vermillion Basin â¿¿ but restricting development so that only 1 percent of the basin would be disturbed at any one time.