The Bureau of Land Management in Utah is Ground Zero for an epic land use battle that could close tens of millions of acres of BLM lands across the West.
The issue concerns the question of whether or not the BLM can create millions of acres of NEW Wilderness Study Areas across the West.
There will be a series of key public comment periods regarding this issue, but perhaps one of the most important deadlines is THIS THURSDAY, December 13, 2007. That is the deadline for the Price Field Office's Resource Management Plan revision.
This issue extends beyond Utah BLM lands. Utah is Ground Zero on an effort to change the law to allow for an ongoing, never ending expansion of Wilderness Study Areas across all BLM lands.
In a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), Utah BLM's Price Field Office is proposing to designate somewhere in the neighborhood of one million acres of new Wilderness Study Areas. "Isn't that illegal?" You ask? Yes, it is, but BLM says it's legal because these WSAs aren't "WSAs," they are actually "Non-WSA lands with wilderness characteristics." But you asks; "aren't they managed the same as WSAs?" Exactly!
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
Send the BLM a quick email with the four comments below.
Send your email comment letter to:
Bureau of Land Management, Price Field Office, 125 South 600 West, Price, Utah, 84501
IMPORTANT: Put "Comments on Price RMP SEIS" in the subject line and be certain to include your name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! (BLM often discards "anonymous" email comments.)
Dear Price BLM,
I would like to make the following comments on the Price Field Office SEIS:
1) I believe the BLM is establishing new WSAs without the authority to do so. Calling a new WSA by a different name does not make it legal.
2) Please disclose the difference in management prescriptions between "non WSA lands with wilderness characteristics" and WSAs in the FEIS.
3) The 1999 inventory found lands that contain extensive OHV trails to have "wilderness characteristics." If the presence of OHV use did not impact the presence or absence of "wilderness characteristics," then by what rationale is the BLM proposing to significantly reduce OHV trails in these areas?
4) The SEIS is utilizing the Utah BLM 1999 statewide wilderness re-inventory. This inventory was based on criteria that were not available for public comment and review. As an OHV user who will be directly affected by your decision, regulations say I should have a chance to review and comment on such criteria.
Price BLM Website: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/price/planning.html