BLM seeking input on land use plans for Grand Staircase-Escalante

A lightning bolt strikes a hoodoo at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. (Image via blm.gov)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management wants to hear your input before it prepares its land use plans for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

BLM is seeking input as it prepares 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” President Trump’s December 4 proclamation to shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante, a statement from BLM said.

In his December 4 visit to Utah, Trump signed Proclamation 9682, which would shrink Grand Staircase-Escalante by about 800,000 acres to 1,003,863 acres, as well as reducing Bears Ears National Monument from 1.35 million acres to 201,876 acres.

“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, 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 statement said. “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.”

Comments on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument can be submitted via the following methods:

Those using a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), can call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to make contact with Matthew Betenson, Associate Monument Manager, during normal business hours. FRS is available 24/7 and Betenson will reply during normal business hours, BLM’s statement said.

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,” the statement said. “While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 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.”

Public comments will be accepted for at least 60 days, or for 15 days after the last scheduled public scoping meeting, whichever is later. Scoping meetings will be announced through local media and the BLM website at https://www.blm.gov/utah.

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