<![CDATA[ BLM Utah News Releases ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/rss/newsreleases/ut.html Utah News Releases en-us Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:45:32 -0600 news Public_Room_UT_State_Office@ut.blm.gov (Utah Info) <![CDATA[ Nine Mile Canyon Rock Art Vandalism Case Resolved (Issued 7/28/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/nine_mile_canyon_rock.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/nine_mile_canyon_rock.html Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:45:32 -0600 Price, Utah—In May 2014, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Price Field Office law enforcement officers and archaeological staff investigated citizen-reported damage to the Nine Mile Canyon Pregnant Buffalo rock art panel in Carbon County.  The investigation revealed that two juveniles from the Salt Lake City area had carved their initials and the date into the rock face near the panel over Memorial Day weekend.  
 
After careful examination and analysis, the BLM assessed the damage and identified specific mitigation measures.  BLM archaeologists estimated that restoration and repair efforts would cost approximately $1,500.  A BLM law enforcement officer met with the youths and their family to discuss the seriousness of the incident.  The family agreed to pay $1,500, which will be used to mitigate the damage caused by the juveniles' thoughtless vandalism.
 
One of the youths stated that he was sorry for his thoughtless actions and hoped that others would learn from his mistake.  "I hope people try to think about the consequences and the effect their actions have on history," he said.
 
Cultural resources like rock art are protected under various federal laws and regulations, including the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA).  In ARPA, Congress affirmed that cultural and archaeological resources are an irreplaceable part of America's heritage and must be protected.  As a result, ARPA prohibits the unauthorized damage to, or excavation and removal, of archaeological resources on federal lands.  ARPA also prohibits the unlawful sale, purchase, or exchange of archaeological resources.  ARPA violations may result in criminal prosecution or civil penalties based on the cost of restoration and repair.   
 
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency.  This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield.  In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands. 
 
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<![CDATA[ BLM Director Discusses Oil and Gas Inspections with Industry (Issued 7/25/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_director_discusses.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_director_discusses.html Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:57:33 -0600 WASHINGTON –Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze today shared information with industry representatives about the agency's efforts to increase oil and gas inspection capacity.  In a talk at the American Petroleum Institute (API), Kornze cited a shortage of inspectors, declining budgets, and a record number of wells on public lands as issues of critical common interest.
 
In speaking to the API’s Upstream Committee, Kornze emphasized that the agency’s efforts to address these issues through a proposed fee system would allow the BLM to be more responsive to the industry’s operational needs.  “The BLM takes its role in the nation's energy economy very seriously.  A properly-resourced BLM oil and gas program means better service for companies and more certainty for the public that operations are being conducted in an environmentally sound manner.”
 
The BLM is responsible for inspection and enforcement on a record 100,000 wells nationwide, with tens of thousands of new wells coming on line in recent years.  At the same time, the budget for the BLM’s oil and gas program has declined 20 percent since 2007 when accounting for inflation.
 
“It is critical that we increase our inspection efforts to ensure that taxpayers are getting a fair return on public resources,” Kornze said. 
 
BLM estimates that the fee system proposed in the President’s budget, similar to the authority already granted for offshore oil and gas development, would allow the agency to recruit more than 60 new inspectors throughout the country. Without additional resources to meet this critical need, the BLM may be forced to consider drawing scarce resources from other high priority efforts like permitting and leasing.
 
The API’s Upstream Committee focuses on upstream regulatory policy, legislative issues, and industry technical standards and recommended practices.  They emphasize efforts to ensure that operations are conducted in a safe, efficient and environmentally responsible manner.  The committee is open to companies producing oil or natural gas in the United States.
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<![CDATA[ Simpson Springs Recreation Area Temporarily Closed (Issued 7/23/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/simpson_springs_recreation.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/simpson_springs_recreation.html Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:32:18 -0600

West Valley City, Utah – Due to significant fire activity in the Simpson Mountain region of Tooele County, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a temporary closure order for the Simpson Springs Recreation Area. The purpose of the order is to minimize risks to public health and safety, while also providing a base camp for fire crews on the Sheep and Lion Peak (also known as Simpson Complex) fires. The recreation area and campground will remain closed from July 22, 2014 until public health and safety is no longer at risk. “Although the Simpson Springs Recreation Area is not currently threatened, it is a key location for fire suppression operations. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we work to contain these fires,” said Kevin Oliver, BLM West Desert District Manager. ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM to Begin Wild Horse Gather in Southern Utah (7/23/2014) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blawhgather.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blawhgather.html Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:10:51 -0600 Public welcome to attend daily ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM Utah Seeks Nominations for Vacancies on Resource Advisory Council (07/21/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_utah_seeks_nominations.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_utah_seeks_nominations.html Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:31:08 -0600 Salt Lake City—Public nominations are being accepted for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Resource Advisory Council (RAC). The BLM will be filling six positions—five positions for members whose terms expire Jan. 6, 2015, and one position for a member whose term expires Apr. 11, 2015. Utah residents interested in the management and conservation of public lands have an opportunity to become directly involved through participation on the RAC. The BLM will consider nominations until Sept. 4, 2014.

 
The BLM RACs are composed of citizens who are chosen for their expertise in natural resources issues to help the BLM carry out its stewardship of 245 million acres of public lands. The Utah RAC consists of 15 members with a keen interest in public land management, including conservationists, ranchers, outdoor recreationists, state and local government officials, Tribal officials, and academics. The diverse membership of the RAC is aimed at achieving the balanced outlook the BLM needs for its multiple-use mission.
 
“I value the advice given to the BLM by these citizen-based Resource Advisory Councils,” said Juan Palma, BLM-Utah State Director. “The people who use and enjoy BLM-managed lands deserve a formal voice on public land issues. Their input enhances our agency’s ability to administer and conserve these lands for current and future generations of Americans.” 
 
Nominations should include a resume providing an adequate description of the nominee’s qualifications, including information that would enable the Department of the Interior to make an informed decision regarding meeting the membership requirements of the Committee and permit the Department of the Interior to contact a potential member. 

Nominees, who must be Utah residents, will be judged on the basis of their training, education, and knowledge of the council’s geographical area. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to consensus-building and collaborative decision making. All nominations must be accompanied by: 1) letters of reference (at least two) from any represented interests or organizations; 2) a completed RAC application form; and 3) any other information that speaks to the nominee's qualifications.  ]]> <![CDATA[ Bureau of Land Management Fire Program to Focus on Sage-Grouse Conservation (Issued 7/18/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/bureau_of_land_management.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/bureau_of_land_management.html Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:01:54 -0600 As an integral part of its collaborative efforts with the states and other federal agencies to conserve sage grouse habitat and that of more than 350 other wildlife species including mule deer and pronghorn antelope who share habitat, the Bureau of Land Management announced today that it is making sage grouse habitat protection a high natural resource priority, focusing its hazardous fuels program on areas where fire management for sage-grouse habitat protection is most critical. These areas are primarily located in priority habitat in the Great Basin states with the highest probability of wildfire occurrence.

Earlier this week, lightning storms passing through Oregon and Central Idaho ignited multiple fires, several of which are burning sage grouse habitat areas. As of this morning, the Buzzard Fire in Eastern Oregon is estimated to have burned 300,000 acres, of which, at least in part, is Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. The Twin Fire and the Lamb Fire also are burning in Greater Sage-Grouse habitat areas. Nearby in the Vale District, the Saddle Fire is likely affecting Greater Sage-Grouse habitat as well. ]]> <![CDATA[ BLM Director Puts Focus on Oil and Gas Inspections (ISsued 7/17/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_director_puts.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_director_puts.html Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:16:39 -0600 VAIL, Colorado – Citing a shortage of inspectors, declining budgets, and a record number of wells on public lands, Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze highlighted the importance of the BLM’s budget request for a fee system to increase the agency’s oil and gas inspection capacity.

 
In his keynote speech to the 60th annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in Vail, Colo., Kornze said, "Over the last few years, the BLM has significantly reduced the time it takes to process drilling permits. Right now nearly 7,000 permits have been approved, but are sitting unused.  That’s two years’ worth of drilling permits that are ready to go today. And while permitting efforts have improved, critical inspections are lagging, and we must do better.”  
 
Kornze told the group of mineral law experts that BLM is focused on a range of inspections, including drilling and production inspections.  The General Accountability Office recently reported that BLM failed to inspect some 40 percent of high-priority drilling operations during 2009-2012.  Similarly, in recent years the BLM has been unable to complete 100 percent of its high-risk production inspections, which are critical for ensuring proper accounting of the billions of dollars of oil and gas produced from public lands.  
 
“The BLM takes its responsibilities seriously, and we must increase our inspection efforts to help protect communities and the environment and to ensure that taxpayers are getting a fair return on public resources,” Kornze said.  “Irregular and declining budgets have hindered our ability to move out aggressively in this area. Through the President’s 2015 budget proposal, we are now seeking to fund inspections through a fee system that will allow us to be much more responsive to the needs of industry and, importantly, to meet the foundational safety and accounting responsibilities of our oil and gas program.”  
 
The BLM is responsible for inspection and enforcement on a record 100,000 wells nationwide, with tens of thousands of new wells coming on line in recent years.  At the same time, the budget for the BLM’s oil and gas program has declined 20 percent since 2007 when accounting for inflation.
 
Congress recently authorized a fee system for offshore oil and gas inspections that are conducted by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.  That fee and inspection program has been a major success both for the agency and the companies that can now count on regular and efficient inspections.
 
It is estimated that the fee system proposed for BLM in the President’s budget would allow the BLM to recruit more than 60 new inspectors throughout the country. Without additional resources to meet this critical need, the BLM may be forced to consider drawing scarce resources from other high priority efforts like permitting and leasing.
 
The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is an educational non-profit organization that provides for the study of the law and regulations relating to mining, oil and gas, water, public lands, energy, environmental protection, and related areas.
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<![CDATA[ BLM seeks public comment on supplementary rules for public lands in southeastern Utah (Issued 7/17/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_seeks_public_comment.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_seeks_public_comment.html Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:11:25 -0600 Moab, Utah—The BLM-Utah Canyon Country District is seeking public comment on proposed supplementary rules for public lands in the Moab and Monticello Field Offices. The proposed rules, which are now available for public review in the Federal Register, are designed to facilitate safe and responsible recreation on BLM-administered public lands.
 
The proposed rules cover a variety of things, including camping, motor vehicle use, mountain biking and campfires. One common-sense rule prohibits camping within archaeological sites. Another proposed rule requires that recreationists not use glass beverage containers in the Sand Hill area near the entrance to Arches National Park; broken glass poses a significant safety hazard to children playing on the popular dune. The rules were developed to implement management decisions made in the 2008 Moab and Monticello Resource Management Plans (RMPs).
 
"The proposed rules support BLM efforts to ensure a positive and safe outdoor recreation experience for all visitors to Canyon Country District lands,” said Lance Porter, Canyon Country District Manager. "They also underscore our ongoing efforts to implement land management commitments we made with the public and our partners during the RMP planning process."
 
The supplementary rules are available online at: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/moab.html or http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/monticello.html. Hard copies of the rules may also be obtained by visiting the Moab Field Office at 82 E. Dogwood Avenue, Moab, UT 84532, or the Monticello Field Office at 365 North Main Street, Monticello, UT 84532.
 
Written comments must be received or postmarked by Sept. 16, 2014. Please note that the most useful comments are those that are specific, confined to issues pertinent to these proposed supplementary rules, and explain the reason for any recommended change. Please reference “Proposed Supplementary Rules” when submitting comments. Written comments may be mailed or emailed using the following:
 
Mail
Bureau of Land Management
Canyon Country District Office
Attn: Jason Moore
82 E. Dogwood Avenue
Moab, UT 84532
 
Email
jdmoore@blm.gov
 
For additional information regarding the proposal, contact Walter Birkenheier at (435)259-2154. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) 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.  Replies are provided during normal business hours.
 
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<![CDATA[ BLM-Utah Resource and Recreation Resource Advisory Council Meeting and Conference Call (Issued 7/14/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm-utah_resource.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm-utah_resource.html Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:24:50 -0600 Salt Lake City—The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Utah Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and Recreation Resource Advisory Council (RecRAC) will host a meeting and conference call on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., MDT.
 
Agenda topics include an introduction of new members; an overview of BLM-Utah issues; planning updates for the Greater sage-grouse, Cedar City and St. George Field Offices; discussion on the Special Recreation Permit Application Fee Proposal; and an overview of the BLM-Utah Wild Horse and Burro Program.
 
The U.S. Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest will give fee presentations on 11 new cabin rentals, Mirror Lake Scenic Byway Recreation Area, and the American Fork Canyon/Alpine Loop Recreation Area.
 
Those attending in person should meet at the Home2 Suites, Summit Conference Room, 3051 W. Club House Drive, Lehi, Utah.  A 30-minute public comment period will take place from 3:00–3:30 p.m.  Public participants wishing to listen to the teleconference, orally present written material during the teleconference, or submit written comments for the RAC or RecRAC should notify Sherry Foot, Special Programs Coordinator, BLM-Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101; phone (801)539-4195; or email sfoot@blm.gov no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.
 
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) 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.  Replies are provided during normal business hours.
 
All meetings are open to the public; however, transportation, lodging, and meals are the responsibility of the participating public.
 
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<![CDATA[ BLM Announces Appointments to Council to Help Advise Agency on Balanced Management of Nation?s Public Lands (Issued 7/9/14) ]]> http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_announces_appointments.html http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/info/newsroom/2014/july/blm_announces_appointments.html Wed, 9 Jul 2014 14:32:57 -0600 Salt Lake City—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced new appointments or reappointments of members to Utah’s citizen-based Resource Advisory Council (RAC), which advises the BLM on public land issues. The RACs are composed of members with diverse interests and backgrounds.
 
"Our Resource Advisory Councils exemplify the BLM’s collaborative approach to public land management,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “I want to welcome our newly appointed RAC members and thank them for their commitment to public service.”
 
The RACs, composed of citizens chosen for their expertise in natural resource issues, help the BLM carry out its nationwide stewardship of 245 million acres – the largest land portfolio federal agency. The BLM has 28 RACs across the West, where most BLM-managed land is located. 
 
Each RAC consists of 10 to 15 members with an interest in public land management, such as ranchers, conservationists, outdoor recreationists, tribal officials, state and local government officials, scientists, and others.
 
“RAC members come from different backgrounds and reflect a wide range of perspectives,” said BLM Utah State Director, Juan Palma. “Their diversity results in a balanced outlook that the bureau needs as it carries out its multiple-use mission.” 
 
The newly appointed or newly re-appointed members of the Utah RAC, serving three-year terms, are: 
 
Chad Baker, Energy/Minerals, Salt Lake City
Callee Butcher, Energy/Minerals, Salt Lake City
Jim Allison, Archaeology/History (reappointment), American Fork
Cimarron Chacon, Public-at-Large, St. George
 
Information about upcoming RAC meetings will be announced as soon as it becomes available. 

For the latest BLM news and updates, visit us on the web at: www.blm.gov/ut/st/en.html.

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