BLM kicks off planning for management of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Public comment sought
KANAB, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input to inform a new land use plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which will ensure ongoing protection of the Monument’s physical, social, biological, historic, and scientific objects and values. Ongoing and future efforts to protect the Monument are consistent with President Biden’s Proclamation 10286, which restored the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to its size and boundaries as they existed prior to Dec. 4, 2017, in order to ensure the proper care and management of the Monument's objects of historic and scientific interest.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante landscape is a geologic treasure characterized by bold plateaus, multihued cliffs, and narrow slot canyons. It has a rich human history, spanning from the indigenous people and cultures to Anglo-American explorers and early Latter-day Saint pioneers. In addition, hundreds of scientific studies and projects have been conducted within the monument, including discovering many previously unknown species of dinosaurs. It is home to innumerable individual fossils, archaeological sites, and rare species, including more than 600 species of bees – some of which likely exist nowhere else on Earth.
“The President’s proclamation for Grand Staircase-Escalante represents a new milestone in the management and protection of some of the most spectacular lands in America. We are committed to conducting a robust and inclusive public 60-day scoping period and encourage the public to get involved in the process,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “By harnessing input provided by the public, partners including state and local government, Tribes, and interested groups, we can prioritize protection of the monument’s objects and values through this land use planning process.”
The comment period will provide the public with an important opportunity to help guide the monument planning process, and the BLM welcomes public input to identify critical management concerns to help the BLM determine the scope of the environmental analysis, including issues for analysis and alternatives development. Future public scoping meetings will also provide an opportunity to speak with resource specialists and to submit written comments in person.
The dates and locations of public scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days in advance through local media, social media, and the BLM website at: https://www.blm.gov/utah. The BLM welcomes the public to submit comments concerning the scope of the analysis, potential alternatives, identification of relevant information and studies, and nomination of areas of critical environmental concern. To provide the BLM the opportunity to consider issues and areas of critical environmental concern raised by commenters in the Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, your input must be received by Sept. 27, 2022, or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is later.
The resource management plan will be developed with maximum public involvement, including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Advisory Committee; Tribal, local and state governments; and permittees and other stakeholders.
The BLM recognizes the importance of these lands to Tribes and the importance of including Tribal knowledge in developing this management plan. The BLM continues its commitment to conducting meaningful consultations with Tribes and using that information to inform planning efforts.
Written comments will be accepted using the following methods:
- Website: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2020343/510
- Mail: ATTN: GSENM RMP Project Manager, BLM Paria River District, 669 S Highway 89A, Kanab, UT 84741
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.
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.