BLM invites public input on draft recreation business plans for Monticello and Richfield Field Offices
SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released two draft recreation business plans for public comment. Each plan covers a different area and proposes changes to fee structures for permits and camping, including increases to support additional amenities and uses. Areas covered by the plans include sites within the Monticello and Richfield Field Offices. The 30-day comment period begins today and closes on January 6, 2019.
“These plans are part of the BLM’s effort to improve access to recreation on public lands, respond to increased visitation on public lands across the state, and support a growing tourism economy,” said Abbie Jossie, BLM-Utah’s Deputy State Director for Natural Resources.
The two draft plans available for public comment include the Cedar Mesa Recreation Business Plan and the Richfield Field Office Campground Business Plan. The draft plans analyze existing revenues and expenditures, and describe the benefits of additional fees to recreation opportunities and resource protection. The draft plans include new and improved amenities such as campgrounds, and specialized river and hiking areas. Funds collected through recreation fees are used locally in the field office where they are collected to maintain necessary infrastructure, improve visitor services, and help provide for public safety.
To comment on the draft plans, please visit: https://www.blm.gov/programs/
Please note that the business plans are not analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act and any proposed infrastructure or surface disturbance would be analyzed in a separate process to disclose potential environmental consequences. Public comments will be considered by the BLM and the Utah Resource Advisory Council (RAC), a citizen committee responsible for providing recommendations to the BLM regarding management issues, including recreation fees. For more information about the Utah RAC, please visit: https://www.blm.gov/get-
While 95 percent of BLM-Utah public lands are fee-free, the BLM currently manages 77 developed recreation fee sites and areas across Utah. BLM-Utah has seen an increase in recreation visitors, with over 8.7 million visitors in 2018. In addition, recreation activities on public lands contributed $577 million to Utah’s economy in 2017.
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.