The future of public lands will be the focus of a series of meetings as San Juan County moves into the next phase in the process of creating a recommendation for the Bishop Public Lands Bill.
Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz are sponsoring a bill, which they hope may help settle some of the controversies regarding federal land. Many of the public land controversies have swirled in the area for decades.
A series of public meetings are planned in coming weeks to discuss some of the proposals submitted by various groups. Three recommendations generated by a San Juan County public lands council will have particular focus at the meeting.
Meetings will be held at Monument Valley High School on Monday, October 27; at the Blanding Arts and Events Center on October 28; at the Bluff Community Center on October 29; at the Aneth Chapter House on November 3; at Monticello High School on November 5; and at the La Sal Community Center on November 6. All meetings begin at 7 p.m.
The public lands council is made up of a cross-section of county residents who met several times and completed a number of visits to areas of interest.
A number of county residents served as Land Council members, including Brent Johansen, Grayson Redd, Heidi Redd, Josh Ewing, Vaughn Hadenfeldt, Mark Maryboy, Shane Shumway, Marie Holiday, Shaye Holiday, Stefnee Turk, Steve Deeter, Todd Westcott, and Tim Chamberlain.
Commissioner Phil Lyman served as leader of the group. County employees John Fellmeth and Nick Sandberg attended as advisors and technical staff.
The three alternatives vary in the amount of land that would be set aside for special designation.
Several other proposals that will be discussed include the Dine Bikeya prosal and the San Juan Alliance proposal.
Other proposals that may be discussed include the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument, and the Red Rock Wilderness Bill.
Maps outlining the recommendations are available at the meeting and at sanjuancounty.org