The Supplement to the Draft Resource Management Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement describes and analyzes the impacts of a fifth alternative (Alternative E) for managing the public lands administered by the Vernal Field Office in northeast Utah. Alternative E gives emphasis to protection of non-Wilderness Study Area (non-WSA) lands with wilderness characteristics, but provides management recommendations to guide the multiple use management of all resources. Proposed ACECs, suitable Wild and Scenic River segments, and special recreation management areas are also recommended. Alternative A is BLM’s preferred alternative.
This document supplements the information contained in the Vernal Field Office Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/DEIS) that was released for public review and comment in January, 2005. The DRMP/DEIS and this Supplement, constitute the complete Vernal Field Office DRMP/DEIS.
This Supplement to the DRMP/DEIS presents an analysis of the effects of managing non-Wilderness Study Area (WSA) lands with wilderness characteristics in a protective manner. The DRMP/DEIS did not consider this type of management. All non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics in the Vernal Field Office are considered for protective management in this Supplement. Wilderness characteristics include the appearance of naturalness, outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation, and size – areas generally 5,000 acres or larger. All of the BLM lands proposed by the Utah Wilderness Coalition as wilderness were evaluated by BLM, and those areas found to have wilderness characteristics were carried forward into this planning process.
The DRMP/DEIS presented four alternatives for managing the public lands and their resources, and analyzed the effects of each management approach. None of these alternatives addressed management to protect the wilderness characteristics of non-WSA lands. This Supplement analyzes a fifth alternative, Alternative E, which emphasizes protection of non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics, and analyzes the effects of that management. Your comments on the adequacy and accuracy of the Supplement will assist the BLM in completing the planning process.