BLM to host meetings for new monument plans
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will host four public scoping meetings as part of the ongoing land use planning for Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Six separate land use plans will be developed, including one for the Shash Jaa unit and another for the Indian Creek unit of Bears Ears National Monument.
The monument was created on December 28, 2016 by President Barack Obama. On December 4, 2017, President Donald Trump shrunk the original monument boundaries from 1.35 million acres to the two smaller units.
While the BLM is the only federal land agency involved in the Indian Creek unit, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service will jointly prepare the land use plan and associated Environmental Impact Statement for the Shash Jáa unit.
Two public meetings will be held regarding Bears Ears National Monument.
The first is Monday, March 26 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at San Juan High School, 311 North 100 East, in Blanding.
A second public meeting is Tuesday, March 27 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Bluff Community Center, 3rd East and Mulberry Bluff Road, in Bluff.
In addition, there will be two public meetings regarding the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The first is Wednesday, March 28 at Kanab Middle School and the second is Thursday, March 29 in Escalante.
The public is encouraged to help identify any issues, management questions, or concerns that should be addressed in the planning processes. The comments will be used to help set the parameters, or scope, of the review of the land use plans.
The public scoping meetings provide the public an opportunity to talk to resource specialists and submit written comments in person. Comments must be received within 15 days of the last scheduled public meeting for the specific planning effort.
Environmental groups have complained that only four hearings are planned for the scoping meetings. For the Grand Staircase planning process in 1997, there were 15 meetings in seven states.
Comments on the Bears Ears plan may also be submitted until April 11 directly through the project ePlanning page at: https://goo.gl/uLrEae, mailed to P.O. Box 7 Monticello, UT 84535, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two planning areas cover approximately 2.1 million acres of federal land in Garfield, Kane, and San Juan counties.