BLM seeks public input on two areas of critical environmental concern

Vermillion Cliffs, undated. | Photo in public domain, courtesy of Wikipedia, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public input through Nov. 30 for its review of two previously nominated areas of critical environmental concern within its Kanab and Vernal field offices.

An ACEC is an area “within the public lands where special management attention is required … to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historical, cultural or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources or other natural systems or processes, or to protect human life and safety from natural hazards,” according to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

BLM will conduct the two potential ACEC evaluations in accordance with a settlement agreement approved in May by a federal judge.

Results of the evaluations will inform the BLM whether any of these public lands meet the agency’s standardized national criteria for further consideration for an ACEC designation in future land-use planning initiatives.

The Kanab Field Office will reevaluate the previously nominated Vermilion Cliffs ACEC in Kane County based on updated visual resource inventory data and any other relevant new information. The area was analyzed in the 2008 Kanab Resource Management Plan; relevant documents are available here.

Public input into the reevaluation may be emailed to utknmail@blm.gov or mailed to the Kanab Field Office, 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, UT 84741. Write “Public Input on ACEC Evaluation” in the subject or attention line.

The Vernal Field Office will evaluate whether any public lands in Duchesne and Uintah counties warrant further consideration for an ACEC designation to protect Pariette cactus, which has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 2007.

A portion of Pariette cactus potential habitat is within an area designated as the Pariette Wetlands ACEC.

Public input into the evaluation may be emailed to blm_ut_vernal_comments@blm.gov or mailed to the Vernal Field Office, 170 S. 500 East, Vernal, UT 84078. Write “Public Input on ACEC Evaluation” in the subject or attention line.

Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in any responses, be aware the information submitted, including personal identifying information, may become publicly available. While individuals may request BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the agency cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.

All submissions from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection in their entirety.

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