BLM Land Use Plans Archives - Page 3 of 8


  • November 20th, 2015

    We have two good pieces of news to share as this week comes to a close.

    First, BLM’s Utah state office decided to postpone the November 2015 oil and gas lease sale and the offering of 36 parcels (totaling more than 36,000 acres) in the Vernal, Price and Fillmore field offices, as well as the Fishlake National Forest. Local activists had planned to protest the sale – arguing that the federal government should stop all oil, gas and coal leasing on public lands – and that caught the BLM off guard. The agency has said that it plans to hold this sale sometime in the near future.

    Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the BLM deferred 14 parcels in the Mussentuchit Badlands just north of Capitol Reef National Park, as well as a handful of other parcels in the San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile Canyon, and on the banks of the Green River. These parcels will NOT be part of the “make-up” auction.

    Given the longstanding surplus of federal lands already under lease, there is no pressing need for this lease sale or really any sales for the foreseeable future. Check out SUWA’s oil and gas fact sheet for more information.

    Second, a federal judge denied the BLM’s request to delay long overdue cultural resource surveys in the Henry Mountains and other parts of the Richfield field office. The agency had complained that complying with the judge’s order would be expensive, time consuming, and ultimately not really that important because many of the cultural sites are, in BLM’s estimation, low value. The BLM has told us it plans to file a similar “stay” motion with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We’ll keep you posted.

    The Richfield resource management and travel plan designated over 4,200 miles of dirt roads and trails for ORV use, threatening the solitude and wild character of places like the Henry Mountains proposed wilderness, above. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Henry Mountains proposed wilderness. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

  • November 19th, 2015

    Tired of hearing about lease sales and drilling proposals in the heart of Utah’s canyon country? Now is your chance to influence the planning process and keep new roads, oil rigs, waste pits, and pipelines out of Utah’s most iconic redrock landscapes.

    The BLM’s Canyon Country District Office is accepting public comments on the draft Moab Master Leasing Plan through Monday, Nov. 23rd. Once finalized, this plan will govern the scope, pace, and nature of oil, gas, and potash development on more than 750,000 acres of public lands in the stunning Moab area.

    Tell the BLM to protect Moab’s redrock country from oil, gas, and potash development.

    While the draft MLP is a good first step to protect places like Fisher Towers, Porcupine Rim, and Goldbar Canyon from being overrun by the sight and sound of pump jacks and drill rigs, more work remains to be done.

    Labyrinth Canyon (Ray Bloxham)

    Labyrinth Canyon, copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Under the BLM’s current “preferred alternative,” Labyrinth Canyon and its many stunning side canyons would be targeted for leasing and drilling. The agency would also give potash development and its staggering water use the green light – with over 42,000 acres of public lands prioritized as “potash processing facility areas,” including sites near Labyrinth Canyon and at the entrance to the Needles and Anticline Overlook roads.

    If you want to see these magnificent landscapes protected, not exploited, let the BLM know!

    The BLM needs to hear from you that you value the greater Moab area’s dark night skies, clean air, and wild open spaces.

    Click here to send your comments to the BLM by the November 23rd deadline.

    You can also send comments via your personal email account to blm_ut_mb_mlpcomments@blm.gov or write to Brent Northrup, MLP Project Manager, 82 East Dogwood, Moab, Utah 84532.

  • October 13th, 2015

    The St. George BLM recently released its draft management plan for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas (NCAs) and is accepting public comments until November 16th.

    If you care about these areas, now is the time to act.

    As you may recall, the 2009 Washington County public lands bill (i.e., the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009) established the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs—both located in a unique corner of Utah where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert ecosystems meet.  The NCAs were created to “conserve, protect, and enhance . . . the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of the designated lands.

    Red Cliffs NCA (Bob Wick)

    Red Cliffs NCA, copyright Bob Wick/BLM.

    Now, anti-conservation voices in Washington County have made it their goal to undermine any effort to protect wildlife and wilderness-quality lands through management of the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs.  They have attacked the BLM for proposing measures to ensure long-term conservation within the NCAs and have attempted to skew reality by arguing that the BLM must designate a highway corridor through the Red Cliffs NCA.

    Please tell the BLM to implement the highest level of protection for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs by November 16th.

    BLM’s Alternative C, the “conservation alternative,” would ensure long-term protection for wildlife and wilderness-quality lands.   These protections include:

    • Prohibiting a right-of-way for a highway corridor through the Red Cliffs NCA (the “Northern Corridor”), which was established for the purpose of protecting the Mojave desert tortoise (a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act).
    • Designating a multispecies wildlife corridor and removing the “open” motorized vehicle designation in the protected area.
    • Managing BLM-identified wilderness-quality lands for the protection of wilderness values.
    • Designating Areas of Critical Environmental Concern for threatened, endangered, and at-risk species.
    • Limiting new motorized and non-motorized recreational development.
    • Prohibiting new transmission and pipeline rights-of-way through protected areas.
    • Removing livestock grazing and livestock developments from the Beaver Dam Wash NCA.

    Click here to tell the BLM to prioritize conservation within the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs by implementing the highest level of protection for wildlife and wilderness-quality lands.

  • September 16th, 2015

    In August, the BLM’s Canyon Country District Office released the long-awaited Moab Master Leasing Plan for public review and comment.  When finalized, this plan will govern the scope, pace and nature of oil, gas and potash development on more than 750,000 acres of public lands in the stunning Moab area.

    Tell the BLM to protect Moab’s redrock country from oil, gas, and potash development.

    While the draft “Moab MLP” is a good first step to protect places like Fisher Towers, Porcupine Rim, and Goldbar Canyon from being overrun by the sight and sound of pump jacks and drill rigs, more work remains to be done.

    Labyrinth Canyon (RayBloxham)

    Labyrinth Canyon, copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Under the BLM’s current “preferred alternative,” Labyrinth Canyon and its many stunning side canyons would be targeted for leasing and drilling.  The agency would also give potash development and its staggering water use the green light – with over 42,000 acres of public lands prioritized as “potash processing facility areas,” including sites near Labyrinth Canyon and at the entrance to the Needles and Anticline Overlook roads.

    If you want to see these magnificent landscapes protected, not exploited, let the BLM know!

    The BLM needs to hear from you that you value the greater Moab area’s dark night skies, clean air, and wild open spaces.

    Click here to send your comments to the BLM.

    Thank you.

  • August 27th, 2015

    The St. George BLM is holding open houses next week for its recently released draft National Conservation Area (NCA) management plan. As you may recall, the 2009 Washington County public lands bill (the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009) created two NCAs near St. George, Utah: the 63,478-acre Beaver Dam Wash NCA and the 44,859-acre Red Cliffs NCA. Both were created to “conserve, protect, and enhance . . . the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of the protected lands.

    Beaver Dam Wash (Ray Bloxham)

    Beaver Dam Wash NCA, copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Subsequent to NCA designation, the St. George BLM was tasked with developing a comprehensive Resource Management Plan (RMP) that dictates how the lands will be managed in a way that meets the above-stated purpose.

    The public comment period for the RMP began on July 17, 2015 and ends on October 15, 2015. In order to provide information to the public, the BLM will hold three open houses the first week of September in southern Utah and the Wasatch Front. The open house schedule is as follows:

    September 1, 6pm-8pm
    Dixie Center
    1835 Convention Center
    St. George, UT

    September 2, 6pm-8pm
    Hurricane City Office
    147 North 870 West
    Hurricane, UT

    September 3, 6pm-8pm
    Red Lion Hotel
    161 West 600 South
    Salt Lake City, UT

    If you’re concerned about the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs and want to see them properly managed to protect wildlife and wilderness values, please attend one of the above open houses.

    We will send a more detailed alert prior to the October 15, 2015 comment deadline. In the meantime, the draft NCA plan is available for review on the BLM’s website. SUWA supports Alternative C, which is the most protective for wildlands and wildlife.