BLM proposes habitat restoration to help prevent catastrophic wildfire

CEDAR CITY, Utah – In order to restore key wildlife habitat and reduce hazardous wildfire fuels, the Bureau of Land Management’s Cedar City Field Office proposes habitat restoration for portions of Bear Valley in southwest Utah.

Specifically, the projects will help improve habitat in the Panguitch Greater Sage-grouse priority habitat management area and a stand of Ponderosa Pine trees.

Decades of fire suppression resulted in increased pinyon and juniper density in sagebrush grassland and mountain brush vegetation. The proposal is needed to return the habitat to a shrub and grass-dominated state, which will help prevent larger, catastrophic fires from damaging more habitat and threatening lives. It also provides habitat for flowering shrubs and plants that the encroaching trees outcompete.

This plan is designed in cooperation with local property owners and local governments, along with partners in Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative that focus on improving high-priority watersheds throughout the state. Earlier efforts in this area resulted in increases in native vegetation, increased  habitat for big game and sagebrush-dependent wildlife, as well as reductions in hazardous fuel. 

“Vegetation management is needed in this area to help the BLM return a portion of the valley to its historic condition and to help prevent catastrophic wildfires. We are encouraging comments from the public to further inform the analysis of the proposed action,” said Paul Briggs, Cedar City Field Manager.

Written comments will be accepted until Sept. 20, 2021. Please note that the most useful comments are specific and contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. 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 “Bear Valley Wildlife Habitat Restoration” when submitting comments.

Written comments may be mailed or submitted through ePlanning.

Mail: 176 East D.L. Sargent Drive, Cedar City, UT 84721

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.

For additional information, please contact Dan Fletcher, Cedar City Field Office assistant field manager, at 435-865-3000. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Cedar City Field Office


Christian Venhuizen
Nick Howell