What to expect at BLM’s open house about Red Cliffs, Beaver Dam Wash management plans

Background photo: Sign for Red Cliffs National Recreation Area near Leeds, Utah, not dated | File photo altered for composite, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The St. George Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management-Utah will conduct three public open houses this week with a variety of information stations to both inform the public and entertain questions, comments and concerns regarding draft management plans associated with the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs national conservation areas.

The first will be held Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Dixie Center St. George, the second will be held Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Hurricane City Offices, and the third will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City.

What to expect

The open house events will include several information stations that the public can visit at will, depending on what category most interests them. Given the volume of information involved, BLM media representative Rachel Carnahan said, the stations are designed to be efficient and expedite the public’s time.

Additionally, there will be informational CDs at the stations. So people may focus on one or two stations at the open house and then pick up CDs from the others for later reference at home.

“We’re making it as user-friendly as possible,” Carnahan said, “to get the information into the public’s hands, accessible, easy to read, easy to digest.”

Information stations

The two primary stations will include:

  • Overview of Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area
  • Overview of Red Cliffs National Conservation Area

The BLM will present its draft resource management plans and address key planning issues.

Likewise, it will present management plan amendments for the St. George Field Office incorporating the two new national conservation areas.

A GIS specialist will be on hand to review maps so the public can specifically see some of the issues on the ground, Carnahan said. And this is a place the public can learn about the next steps in the process and how they can continue to engage in that process.

Particular areas of interest will have their own information stations:

  • Heritage station – covering paleontological and archaeological concerns
  • Biological station – covering plants and animals
  • OHV station – covering off-highway vehicle use
  • Grazing station – covering grazing concerns
  • ACEC station – coverings areas of critical environmental concern
  • Lands and realty station – covering the interplay between private, state and public lands, easements, rights of way and the like.

The draft management plans and amendments posit alternatives, only one of which contemplates a regional transportation plan allowing for Washington County’s long-planned northern corridor, something county officials are frustrated about.

Read more here: Northern corridor plans slighted in BLM’s draft area management plans

Background

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 created the Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash national conservation areas and directed the Interior Secretary, through the BLM, to develop comprehensive plans for the long-term management of the two conservation areas. The legislation also required the BLM to take actions and make land use allocations on public lands in Washington County that necessitate amending the St. George Field Office record of decision and resource management plan.

A 90-day public comment period began July 16 and ends Oct. 15 during which the public is invited to review and comment on the draft environmental impact statement, two draft resource management plans and a draft amendment to the current St. George Field Office resource management plan.

The draft documents may be viewed online here.

How to comment

In addition to commenting at the open houses, written comments will be accepted by letter or email until Oct. 15. The most useful comments are those that contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action, the BLM said its news release.

Comments should be as specific as possible. Comments which contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process.

Please reference “NCA RMPs” when submitting comments to:

BLM-Utah St. George Field Office
Attn:  Keith Rigtrup
345 East Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790

Email: utsgrmp@blm.gov

Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment — including personal identifying information — may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

Open house details

  • Sept. 1, Tuesday | 6-8 p.m. | Dixie Center St. George, 1835 Convention Center Drive, St. George
  • Sept. 2, Wednesday | 6-8 p.m. | Hurricane City Offices, 147 North 870 West, Hurricane
  • Sept. 3, Thursday | 6-8 p.m. | Red Lion Hotel, 161 West 600 South, Salt Lake City

Resources

  • Contact: BLM planner Keith Rigtrup at 435-865-3063
  • Persons may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Related posts

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic  @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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