As the next step in aligning federal habitat conservation efforts with state wildlife management plans, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold three meetings in Utah beginning June 26, 2018, to provide information and answer possible questions regarding the recently released draft amendments to sage-grouse plans finalized in 2015.
Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) and amendments to the 2015 plans were published on May 4, 2018, beginning a 90-day public comment period. The public meetings will help attendees learn about the draft plan amendments and formulate written submissions before the comment period ends on August 2, 2018.
“The BLM’s efforts to align management of sagebrush-steppe habitat with state wildlife management plans will result in increased management flexibility, maintain or improve access to public resources, and promote conservation outcomes,” said Utah state director Ed Roberson. “We believe that the resulting federal and state plans will complement and strengthen each other.”
Western governors have sought changes to the 2015 plans for BLM-managed lands in their states, which spurred the BLM in proceeding with the plan amendments. Comments on the draft amendments will guide the BLM in finalizing changes that build on and strengthen these plans to conserve public land habitat in cooperation with state plans for managing wildlife species.
Plan amendments could affect up to 61 land-use plans for about 53 million acres in seven western states. In Utah, 14 plans guiding management on 4 million acres of public land could be revised.
The public meetings will be held in an open-house format, with BLM specialists attending information stations to interact with meeting attendees to provide answers or additional information. Oral comments will not be accepted at the meetings, but computer terminals will be available for submitting written comments on-site.
Utah meetings will be at:
Cedar City Festival Hall/Heritage Theater
2nd Floor, Conference Rooms 1 & 2
105 North 100 East, Cedar City, Utah 84720
Western Park Convention Center
300 East 200 South, Vernal, Utah 84078
Randolph Senior Citizen’s Center
5 N. Main St., Randolph, Utah 84064