Monument grazing, sage grouse headline BLM meetings
Published: December 8, 2013 01:57PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 07:57PM

The Bureau of Land Management hosts a string of scoping meetings in coming days on its latest attempt to develop a grazing plan for southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The meetings all run from 6 to 9 p.m., starting Tuesday at the BLM administrative complex in Kanab. Wednesday’s meeting is at Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante and Thursday’s is at the Salt Lake City Main Library.

The meetings all open with a presentation about a recently initiated process to draft an environmental impact statement, according to monument spokesman Larry Crutchfield.

“Then we’ll break it into an open house format, and people can ask questions of the specialists at the different stations,” Crutchfield said. “This is the process where the public can help us formulate what we look at during the EIS. You will be able to shape where we are going.”

On the issue of greater sage grouse conservation, the BLM is staging another series of information meetings, all set from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., this week in northern Utah, starting Tuesday at the Salt Lake City Main Library. Wednesday’s meeting is at the Randolph Senior Center gymnasium and Thursday’s at Snowville Elementary School.

The agency is proposing amendments to 14 resource management plans and six national forest plans affecting 4 million acres. It’s part of a larger regionwide effort to ensure adequate protections to keep one of the West’s iconic birds off the endangered species list, a move that would result in serious limits on energy development, grazing and other activities on public lands.