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Lands and Realty

Rights of Way

Broken Mesa PowerlinePublic lands administered by the St. George Field Office are used by numerous utility companies, local municipalities, special service districts, private interests, and county, state and federal agencies for roads, highways, pipelines, compressor stations, reservoirs, water storage facilities, telephone lines, fiber optic cables, electrical distribution and transmission lines, switchyards, cellular towers, recreation trails, and a variety of communications sites and other infrastructure. Other potential uses include solar power generating stations and wind energy facilities. BLM authorizes such uses through rights-of-way granted under the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976 and other authorities including Part 2800 of Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Of the approximately 635,000 acres managed by BLM in Washington County, 2,690 acres in the Beaver Dam Mountains Wilderness Area are closed to rights-of-way, and another 309,000 acres are classified as rights-of-way avoidance areas. New rights-of-way could be granted in avoidance areas only when feasible alternative routes or designated utility corridors are not available. In such cases BLM would apply measures to reduce impacts to affected resources based on site-specific environmental analysis of the project proposal. Avoidance areas include the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, ten designated Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, areas closed to motorized travel, watershed protection areas, designated critical habitats for listed plant and animal species, highly scenic corridors, and other areas of unique resource significance. Map 2.3 (page 2.76) of the St. George Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan (RMP) depicts the location of these restricted areas.
Applicants for new or amended rights-of-way in Washington County should schedule an appointment with a St. George Field Office Realty Specialist in the field office for informal discussions prior to submitting an application to determine land availability, compatibility with land use plans, and specific application procedures. BLM encourages applicants to become acquainted with the policies and requirements contained in the right-of-way regulations (43 CFR 2800) referenced above prior to project discussions and development of detailed plans. The regulations will explain requirements for cost recovery while processing the applications and for annual rentals upon issuance of the rights-of-way grants.
To facilitate the placement of large utility lines and new transportation routes, BLM has designated 12 utility corridors throughout Washington County. These corridors are depicted in Table 2-2 (page 2.5) and on Map 2.2 (page 2.75) of the RMP. The corridors provide preferred locations for meeting large, linear facility placements and to avoid proliferation of new routes through sensitive lands and wildlife habitats. Moreover, they are designed to conform to long-range corridor needs established by the Western Utility Group and the U.S. Department of Energy and to correlate with corridor designations on adjacent public lands in Nevada and Arizona and on the Dixie National Forest. More infomation on Rights-Of-Way is available at BLM's national website.
To facilitate the placement of compatible communication facilities essential to communities, agencies, businesses, utility companies, communication firms, and law enforcement and national security interests, BLM designated five communication sites on public lands in Washington County. These include West Mountain, Scrub Peak, Little Creek Mountain, South Rockville, and Black Ridge. To the extent practical, new users at these sites will be required to share site facilities to make efficient use of limited space, reduce impacts, and lessen the need for additional mountain top locations. Site users are expected to share in the cost of access and security maintenance and, where applicable, join the site users association. More information on Communication Site Management is available at BLM's national website.