Price Field Office
Wilderness Characteristics in Planning
Questions and Answers
Why is the Price Field Office preparing a supplemental draft RMP for wilderness characteristics?
Recent judicial decisions and internal review have identified the need for BLM Utah to adjust how non-wilderness study area (WSA) lands with wilderness characteristics are considered in the land use planning process.
What does this mean?
The supplemental document broadens the Price RMP’s range of alternatives. In the final RMP, the BLM will not just simply “pick” one alternative. The BLM can choose aspects from any of the alternatives. No final decision has been made at this time.
Does this alter the existing alternatives?
All of the existing alternatives remain in tact and are still a part of the range of decisions possible for the final RMP. A new alternative, “Alternative E” is being added.
What is contained in the new alternative?
The new alternative identifies 937,440 acres as having wilderness characteristics. It more than doubles the lands closed to OHV use, managed as VRM Class I and closed to oil and gas leasing. This new alternative focuses primarily on protecting wilderness characteristics.
What are the benefits of this additional analysis?
- Adequate consideration is given to wilderness characteristics in ongoing RMPs.
- At least one alternative is analyzed for managing these lands.
- Adequate analysis is prepared for land use planning purposes, and which can be used for future oil and gas leasing decisions.
Will this process consider establishing new WSAs?
This revised approach does not consider establishing new WSAs. The BLM does not have the authority to take this type of action.
Are there other BLM Field Offices that are preparing a wilderness characteristics supplemental?
The Vernal Field Office is also preparing a supplemental to their plan. The other four field offices that currently have plans underway have not yet issued their draft plans and are incorporating this information into the draft document.
Does this supplemental make any final decisions?
The supplement does not make any final decisions. What it does do is broaden the range of management strategies that the BLM will consider when finalizing the RMP.
What percentage of the Field Office is made up of wilderness study areas and lands with wilderness characteristics?
Sixty percent of the Price Field Office is either WSAs (20%) or non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics (40%).