Public meetings and comment periods set for land-use plans at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante

This May 8, 2017, file photo shows an aerial view of Arch Canyon within Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. | Photo by Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management will host four public scoping meetings as part of the ongoing land use planning for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

Scoping efforts were initiated Jan. 16 for the BENM – Indian Creek and Shash Jáa units; the GSENM – Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits and Escalante Canyon units; and federal lands previously included in the GSENM that are now excluded from its boundaries.

In total, the BLM will produce six land use plans and two associated environmental impact statements. The BLM and U.S. Forest Service will jointly prepare the land use plan and associated EIS for the Shash Jáa unit.

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.

Comments on the BENM plan may also be submitted until April 11 directly through the project ePlanning page,  emailed, or mailed to P.O. Box 7 Monticello, Utah 84535.

Comments on the GSENM plan may also be submitted until April 13 directly through the project ePlanning page, emailed, or mailed to 669 S. Hwy 89A Kanab, Utah 84741.

The two planning areas cover approximately 2.1 million acres of federal land in Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties. The new planning efforts will replace the 2000 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument management plan and replace portions of the 2008 Monticello resource management plan.

The BLM invites members of the public to attend meetings at the following dates and locations:

Bears Ears National Monument

  • Monday, March 26 4:30-8 p.m. San Juan High School, 311 N. 100 East, Blanding.
  • Tuesday, March 27 4:30-8 p.m. Bluff Community Center Third East and Mulberry Bluff Road, Bluff.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

  • Wednesday, March 28 4:30-8 p.m. Kanab Middle School, 690 South Cowboy Way, Kanab.
  • Thursday, March 29 4:30-8 p.m. Canyon Country Lodge, 760 East Highway 12, Escalante.

Additional information webpages:  Planning effort for GSENM | Planning effort for BENM.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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