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BLM to hold info open houses on ecoregional assessments

As part of a broader initiative to systematically develop landscape-level information for public land management, the Bureau of Land Management is initiating ecological assessments and is hosting a series of informational open houses to discuss its plans.

In Utah and surrounding states, the BLM will develop assessments for the Colorado Plateau, Mojave Desert and Central Great Basin.

The assessments are designed to support sustainable use of important natural resources by increasing knowledge and understanding of these resources, establishing baseline conditions and assessing changes in conditions over time.

To help the public understand what the ecological assessments are, how they will be used and their schedules for completion, the BLM is inviting the public to participate in open houses throughout Utah.

Opportunities will be provided to discuss the assessments in detail and provide input and comments. The public open houses will be held at the following locations, dates and times:

- March 9, 6-9 p.m., Homeward Suites, 423 West 300 South, Salt Lake, Santa Fe Meeting Room;

- March 10, 5-7:30 p.m. Moab Information Center Main and Center Street Auditorium;

- March 11, 6-9 p.m. Cedar City Heritage, 105 N. 100 E., Cedar City, Festival Hall Room No. 1

The meeting format will consist of an opening welcome, a presentation on ecoregional assessments and the strategy and schedule for completion, followed by an open house with stations to discuss assessment details and individual assessments.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.

The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.

The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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