Bureau of Land Management seeks public input in planning process for Grand Staircase-Escalante region

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is home to rare and unique dinosaur fossils.

Photo/Bureau of Land Management

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is home to rare and unique dinosaur fossils.

WASHINGTON — On Dec. 4, 2017, President Donald Trump issued Proclamation 9682 modifying the boundary of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of important objects of historic and scientific interest.

This action is part of a larger effort by Trump and the Department of the Interior to ensure that the broad powers granted to the president under the Antiquities Act are not used as a tool to unnecessarily restrict access to public land on a large scale.

The Bureau of Land Management Utah State Office is seeking public input in advance of preparing land use plans for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as modified by Proclamation 9682 and other public lands previously included in the monument, that were excluded from the boundaries by Proclamation 9682. These planning efforts are an opportunity to enhance our relationships with the state of Utah and local communities. The BLM will develop these land use plans to improve access, facilitate multiple-uses, and within the national monument, care for and manage objects of historic and scientific interest, consistent with Presidential Proclamation 9682.

The publication of the Notice of Intent to Prepare Resource Management Plans for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument-Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyon Units and Federal Lands previously included in the Monument that are excluded from the Boundaries and Associated Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register today initiated the public scoping period for the land use planning process. The BLM will accept comments for at least 60 days, or for 15 days after the last scheduled public scoping meeting, whichever is later.  

The new land use plans will provide clarity for the public on how they can enjoy and use public lands within the monument. With State, local, Tribal and public participation, the agency will develop alternatives for the land use plans. The land use planning process will also determine how public lands outside the monument will be managed, according to other relevant laws and resource considerations.

The BLM welcomes participation from the public, which the agency will utilize in the development of alternatives for the land use plans. The public is encouraged to identify issues, management questions, or concerns that should be addressed in this process. Future public scoping meetings will also provide an opportunity to speak with resource specialists and submit written comments in person.  

The date(s) and location(s) of any scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, newspapers and the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/utah. The agency will provide additional opportunities for public participation upon publication of the Draft EIS.

Comments may be submitted by using any of the following methods:

Email: BLM_UT_CCD_monuments@blm.gov 

ePlanning:  https://goo.gl/EHvhbc

Mail:  669 S Hwy 89A Kanab, UT 84741

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment — including your personal identifying information — may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the agency in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, it is not guaranteed.

The BLM will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

More information concerning the land use planning process can be found by contacting Matthew Betenson, Associate Monument Manager at (435) 644-1200.

Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact Betenson during normal business hours.

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