BLM issues decision for Calf Creek Recreation Site
KANAB, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management has issued a decision record for the Calf Creek Recreation Site Deferred Maintenance and Improvements Project within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. The decision record authorizes much-needed maintenance and site improvements, funded in part by Great American Outdoors Act investments, designed to meet public demand and increased visitation at the Calf Creek Recreation Area, while protecting Monument objects and values.
“The condition of the Calf Creek Recreation Site facilities has continued to dilapidate and worsen over time while the use of the site has continued to increase,” said Paria River District Manager Harry Barber. “Prior to the Great American Outdoors Act, large improvement projects like this were simply out of reach, financially speaking. The Great American Outdoors Act gives the economic boost needed to modernize infrastructure and help make visitors feel safe when recreating on these public lands. By addressing the deferred maintenance at Calf Creek, visitors will enjoy improved public access and amenities while ensuring the long-term protection of the Monument.”
Improvements to the Calf Creek Recreation Site approved in this decision include the following:
- Replacing infrastructure (creek-crossing structures, shade shelters, restroom, fee station and retaining walls);
- Reconfiguring the existing main parking area and constructing additional designated parking;
- Consolidating the day-use amenities to one area, featuring a shaded group shelter;
- Widening the access road;
- Modernizing and adding additional camping units and relocating the host site;
- Providing additional vault toilets and on-site trash collection;
- Constructing a small amphitheater, a nature trail, and pedestrian pathways;
- Relocating the trailhead and rerouting the beginning of the Lower Calf Creek Trail around (rather than through) the campground; and
- Installing a communication fiber line to allow for the installation of emergency phones and Wi-Fi communication at the site.
Prior to issuing the decision, the BLM conducted a National Historic Preservation Act survey to identify any districts, sites, buildings, structures, or objects eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and determined that two sites within the project area are eligible for listing: the historic Civilian Conservation Corps-constructed Escalante to Boulder Road and the Calf Creek Campground. The BLM worked with Tribal Nations, Garfield County officials, preservation groups, and the Utah State Historic Preservation Office to minimize potential project impacts to these eligible sites. As stipulated in a Memorandum of Agreement signed in fall 2021 to appropriately manage the cultural and historic legacy of the site, the BLM has committed to conducting additional historic research; performing detailed recording, mapping, and photography; and installing interpretative signs for the public.
The decision record, finding of no significant impact, environmental assessment and associated documents can be viewed on the BLM’s ePlanning website at https://bit.ly/3DzOJQV. A 30-day appeal period is open until close of business on March 4, 2023. Instructions for filing an appeal are provided in the decision record.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.