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Officials were reluctant to comment Thursday, but in past public statements, BLM state director Juan Palma has promised that the new review will engage all interested parties, including environmentalists, in a transparent process.
"There is no direction from anywhere [or] anyone about undoing grazing," he told the monument advisory committee last year.
Still, in its last session the Utah Legislature used BLM’s alleged efforts to reduce grazing as the basis for designating a "grazing zone" in and around the monument, declaring livestock the "highest management priority" there.
And under the Public Lands Transfer Act passed last year, the monument and another 28 million acres of federal land are to be transferred to the state by the end of 2014. The legality of either law is open to debate, but both send a message that Utah intends to assert as much control over the monument as it can.
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