The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is hosting public meetings on September 30 and October 15 to provide information and receive input on the recent Department of Interior proposed withdrawal (temporary segregation) of almost one million acres of federal lands near the Grand Canyon. The segregation will prevent the location of new mining claims for two years while the department evaluates whether to withdraw these lands for up to an additional 20 years. During this two-year segregation period, various studies will be conducted and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared.

The BLM will be the lead agency, working in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service, to prepare an EIS used to support a final decision on the withdrawal. The EIS will disclose the potential impacts the proposed action would have on the human environment and natural and cultural resources, as well as determine what measures would be necessary to mitigate or reduce those impacts. In addition to analyzing the potential impacts, the EIS will also identify and analyze alternatives to the proposed action.

The first meeting will be held on September 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Fredonia Elementary School Cafeteria, 221 E. Hortt, Fredonia. A second meeting will be held in Flagstaff, Arizona, on October 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the High Country Conference Center, 201 West Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, Arizona. An open house format will be used for both meetings. This will provide an opportunity to learn about the EIS process and for the public to submit written comments and discuss ideas with agency officials.

Comments may also be mailed to the Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Strip District, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790, by sending an e-mail to azasminerals@blm.gov.

Additional information can be found at blm.gov/az or by calling (435) 688-3200.