The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is initiating a 90-day comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) and for Federal lands previously included in the GSENM that are now identified as the Kanab-Escalante Planning Area. A notice of availability was published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2018, and the draft documents are available for review on the BLM ePlanning website at https://goo.gl/EHvhbc. Comments" onclick="dpSmartLink(this.href,'blankWin',0,0,'z:z','all');return document.MM_returnValue">https://goo.gl/EHvhbc. Comments will be accepted through Nov. 15, 2018. Comments help shape future management of these public lands

“It’s been nearly 20 years since the public has had the unique opportunity to help shape the future of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument – the BLM’s first ever national monument,” said BLM Utah State Director Ed Roberson. “Developing new management plans is an exciting challenge and a serious responsibility that is shared by everyone who cares about these lands.”

On January 16, 2018, the BLM initiated planning for these lands and hosted a nearly three-month long scoping period and two public meetings. Since then, the BLM has worked with cooperating agencies to develop draft management plans and a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) reflecting input from many stakeholders and the public. The plans include a range of alternatives addressing management issues brought forward during scoping. 

“We want to hear from you,” said Harry Barber, acting Monument manager. “This review period provides an important opportunity for you to influence the decision-making process. The alternatives in the draft EIS address the challenges of protecting natural and cultural resources, including objects of pre-historic, paleontological, historic and scientific interest within the monument, while also addressing multiple uses of public lands.”

The Draft RMPs/Draft EIS evaluate four alternatives varying from no action to maximizing management flexibility, while still providing for resource protection, including protection of Monument objects within the GSENM, as required by applicable laws, policies and plans. The BLM encourages comments on all alternatives and potential management actions, as the final management plans may include portions of any alternative. Incorporating local voices and the public at large in the planning process is vital to managing sustainable, working public lands. 

To help the BLM properly consider and incorporate feedback, please include a reference to a specific page or section of the Draft EIS/Draft RMP in your comment. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

• Mail: 669 S Hwy 89A Kanab, UT 84741, Attn: Matt Betenson

• ePlanning: https://goo.gl/EHvhbc

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may request to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

The BLM will announce future meetings or other public involvement activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases and/or mailed notifications.

For further information concerning the land use planning process, please contact Matt Betenson, Associate Monument Manager, at (435) 644-1200. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.