BLM seeks public input to inform the Book Cliffs Travel Management Plan
7/6 Update: BLM Utah has extended the scoping period for an additional 15 days. The public may submit scoping comments through 4:30 pm on July 23, 2021 via the ePlanning webpage: http://go.usa.gov/xNKuZ or via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
VERNAL, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites the public to play an important role in helping the BLM identify where motorized transportation on public lands in eastern Utah will be allowed. Today, the BLM Vernal Field Office announced the beginning of a 30-day scoping period to inform the Book Cliffs Travel Management Plan as well as the dates for online open houses to learn more.
The Travel Management Plan will help the BLM to provide a public motorized transportation network to serve visitors and local communities, while protecting natural resources. While the 2008 Vernal Resource Management Plan considered public motorized vehicle uses on a landscape scale, this plan focuses on management of individual routes. It will determine whether routes are open, limited, or closed for public motorized use on a route-by-route basis.
The Book Cliffs travel management area in eastern Utah covers approximately 813,446 acres in Uintah County, 5,518 acres in Grand County, and 1,906 miles of routes.
“We look forward to hearing from the public during the Book Cliffs Travel Management Plan scoping period,” said Vernal Field Manager Roger Bankert. “Information submitted at this stage will help inform the initial draft of the travel management plan and environmental assessment. The most helpful comments are specific in nature and provide new information.”
The BLM will host online open houses on Wednesday, June 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. MST and Thursday, June 24, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, meeting access, and login details, and/or to comment online, please visit the BLM’s ePlanning website at: http://go.usa.gov/xNKuZ. Relevant maps and materials are posted on ePlanning, including an interactive map with the complete route inventory for the Book Cliffs travel management area. Please note, the interactive map includes routes being evaluated for potential inclusion in the Book Cliffs TMP. It does not imply that those roads are available for use under travel management decisions in the Vernal Resource Management Plan.
Comments will help the BLM to formulate issues and alternatives included in the travel management plan. Specific information on the use of route, resources impacts from an existing route, and/or new information about the area is especially useful at this stage in the planning process. The Travel Management Plan will address topics related to motorized travel, including recreation, cultural resources, wildlife and fisheries habitat, soils and water quality, and wilderness characteristics.
The BLM is requesting public input during a 30-day scoping period starting on June. 8, 2021 and ending on July 8 2021. Comments must be submitted on or postmarked by July 8, 2021 through the BLM’s ePlanning website, by email, or by mail. Please reference “Book Cliffs TMP” when submitting comments.
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments.
For more information, please visit BLM Utah’s travel management webpage at www.blm.gov/travel-and-transportation/utah or contact Planning and Environmental Coordinator Nate Packer at (435) 781-3405. 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.