BLM Extends Comment Period on Resource Management Draft
The United States Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period on the Price field office's draft resource management plan until Nov. 29.
The decision to extend the comment period was made due to requests the BLM received from the public and government agencies, according to the Price field office.
The federal agency originally released the draft RMP to the public on July 16 for review and comment. It considers an array of options for future public land management.
"The public's input is critical since this RMP will guide management of more than 2.5 million acres of public lands," said Price BLM field office manager Patrick Gubbins. "We understand that this is a very complex document, the culmination of two years of work by BLM, our cooperating agencies and the public."
"We want to make sure the public and our partners have the time that is needed to understand the document and provide substantive comments," pointed out Gubbins.
More than 38,000 comment letters have been received on the Price field office's draft resource management plan to date.
"BLM looks forward to continued interest and we hope to receive input that will assist us in developing a high-quality final plan," said Gubbins.
In order to assist the public with understanding the draft plan, BLM will post additional materials during the next couple of weeks on the RMP website to answer commonly asked questions the federal agency has already received as part of the comment period.
Carbon County residents may access the site at www.pricermp.com.
One of the common concerns raised by the public related to motorized route designation and off-highway vehicle management, indicated the federal agency's Price field officer.
In the final plan, BLM will designate areas as open to motorized travel, closed to motorized travel, or limited to designated routes.
For the limited category, BLM will also designate which specific routes will be open to motorized use. The route designations made in the 2003 San Rafael plan will be incorporated into the final RMP.
"There are more than 3,500 miles of existing routes in the management area," explained Gubbins. "We do not plan on designating all of these routes as open; rather, our goal is to create a designated route network that protects other resources and provides both motorized and non-motorized recreational opportunities."
The draft plan addresses several key public land issues raised during public scoping and the planning process.
The key public issues include recreation, minerals and energy, grazing, water, fish and wildlife, wild horses and burros, air quality, cultural and paleontology, soil and vegetation, areas of critical environmental concern and wild and scenic river suitability.
Places of particular interest within the planning area include the San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile and Desolation Canyon.
The draft plan considers a range of alternatives for management of important resources and uses in the areas in question along with other places.
The draft resource management plan/environmental impact statement was prepared with the assistance of four cooperating agencies as well as input from the public during the scoping phase of the effort, indicated the Price BLM office.
The document may be viewed electronically or local residents may call the Price field office at 636-3600.
Comments may be submitted via the website or sent to Price Field Office RMP Comments, Attention: Floyd Johnson, 125 S. 600 W., Price, UT 84501.