UPDATED - BLM seeks input on proposed Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan amendment
ST. GEORGE, Utah -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting the public’s input on a proposal to amend the Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan (RMP) as part of its evaluation of the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline route in the Kanab Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), located south of the Kaibab Paiute Reservation.
Approximately 1.5 miles of the proposed pipeline would run through the Kanab Creek ACEC, with a small portion (900 of 13,148 acres) affected. Of this, approximately 1.0 miles would be located within a designated utility corridor. The BLM must complete the RMP amendment in order to address planning inconsistencies between the proposed water pipeline route and the existing designated utility corridor.
“We are committed to hearing from all area stakeholders about the use of public lands in their backyards,” said Arizona Strip Field Manager Lorraine Christian. “The BLM works with the public to determine responsible uses of working landscapes, such as this proposed water pipeline project, which has the potential to benefit local communities through improved infrastructure, job creation, and economic growth.”
The Utah legislature passed the Lake Powell Pipeline Development Act in 2006. When completed the140-mile-long pipeline is estimated to generate 300 megawatts of power and divert 82,249-acre feet of water from Lake Powell to Washington County and 4,000 acre-feet to Kane County annually. The Utah Division of Water Resources is the Lake Powell Pipeline Project proponent. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency to complete the Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline project, and the BLM is a cooperating agency.
The BLM has scheduled public scoping meetings in communities near the Kanab Creek ACEC. During these meetings, the public can provide input to the BLM on relevant issues that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including alternatives, and help guide the planning process. In addition to the public scoping meetings, the BLM plans to host an Economic Strategies Workshop to provide an opportunity for regional businesses, governments, and community organizations to discuss regional economic and social conditions and trends related to the RMPA only.
The meetings are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:
- Tuesday, July 17 from 5-8 p.m. Public scoping meeting at the Fredonia Elementary School Gym, 222 N. 200 E. Fredonia, AZ 86022
- Wednesday, July 18 from 5-8 p.m. Public scoping meeting at the Dixie Center, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive St. George, UT 84790
- Thursday, July 19 from 1-4 p.m. Economic Strategies Workshop at the Kaibab Village Community Center 2230 N. Pipe Spring Road, Fredonia, AZ 86022
Comments may also be submitted via mail and email. The comment period ends August 3, 2018, which is 15 days after the last public meeting as stated in the NOI.
Written comments may be mailed to BLM Arizona Strip Field Manager Lorraine Christian, Arizona Strip Field Office, at 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84790. Comments may also be faxed to Lorraine Christian at 435-688-3258 or emailed to BLM_AZ_ASFO_comments@blm.gov. Please include, “Proposed Arizona Strip Resource Management Plan Amendment” in the subject line of your letter, fax or email. All comments will be made available to the public.
The Notice of Intent, which was published today in the Federal Register, announces BLM’s intent to analyze the proposed amendment to the Arizona Strip RMP related to the Kanab Creek ACEC. The BLM will incorporate the analysis for the RMP amendment into FERC’s Environmental Impact Statement for the larger Lake Powell Pipeline Project. FERC will analyze the proposed pipeline project and the proposed RMP amendment to consider allowing development of the Lake Powell Pipeline within the Kanab Creek ACEC.
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.