The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a draft resource management plan and environmental impact statement (RMP/EIS) on August 24 aimed at providing direction for how BLM-administered public lands in Grand County and in the northern third of San Juan County, Utah will be managed in the future to sustain their health, diversity and productivity.
The draft RMP/EIS analyzes four alternatives covering a broad spectrum of management options. BLM has also selected a preferred alternative that the agency developed to provide the most reasonable and balanced approach to managing the public lands resources and uses.
This alternative emphasizes protecting important environmental values and sensitive resources while allowing for commodities development. It considers protection of important natural resources and commodity production, as well as offer a full range of recreation opportunities.
Under the preferred alternative, five Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (approximately 63,000 acres) would be specially managed to protect relevant and important values. Additionally, portions of three rivers (the Green, the Colorado and the Dolores) would be recommended as suitable for Wild and Scenic River status.
The release of a draft RMP represents a significant step in public lands management. The Moab Field Office and its cooperators have been working on the effort for the past four years.
This planning effort will result in a comprehensive resource management plan for 1.8 million acres of public lands administered by the Moab Field Office.
The draft plan identifies how various programs like special designations, travel management, recreation, minerals, non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, wildlife, and livestock grazing would be managed in to the future.
The public will have 90 days to comment on the draft RMP/EIS. The public comment period ends on November 30, 2007.
The Moab Field Office has planned four public meetings in Moab, Monticello, and Salt Lake City, Utah and in Grand Junction, Colorado to provide information and answer questions from the public.
The meetings will be held at the following times and locations:
In Monticello from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at Monticello High School, 164 South 200 West.
In Moab from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at the Grand Center, 182 North 500 West.
In Grand Junction, CO from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, 2007, at Two Rivers Convention Center, 159 Main Street.
In Salt Lake City from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, at the Salt Lake City Main Public Library, 210 East 400 South.
Copies of the draft RMP/EIS are available for public inspection at the Grand County (Moab) Library, the San Juan County (Monticello) Library, the Salt Lake City Public Library, the Mesa County (Grand Junction) Library and the University of Utah Library.
In addition, copies may be viewed at the Moab, Monticello and Grand Junction BLM offices, and the BLM State Office in Salt Lake City.
The draft RMP/EIS can be found online at http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/planning.1.html. This website also contains background information about the plan, as well as an electronic public comment form. Comments may also be mailed to the BLM Moab Field Office, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, or emailed to UT_Moab_Comments@blm.gov.
For further information on the draft RMP/EIS, please contact the Moab Field Office at (435) 259-2100.