Public meetings on Uinkaret Mountains Landscape project: St. George is on, Mesquite is off

Map indicates Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument, Arizona Strip, Arizona | Map courtesy of BLM, St. George News

ST. GEORGE— The Bureau of Land Management has made meeting changes for public input on a Uinkaret Mountains Landscape Restoration Project proposed by the BLM Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Arizona Strip Field office.

St. George

The public scoping meeting for St. George scheduled Wednesday from 4-6 p.m., will take place as scheduled and will be held at the Lexington Hotel and Conference Center, located at 850 South Bluff Street in St. George.

Mesquite, Nevada, canceled in favor of Flagstaff, Arizona

Based on public input, the public scoping meeting for the project previously scheduled for Thursday from 3-5 p.m. at Mesquite City Hall in Mesquite, Nevada, has been canceled. Instead, a second meeting will take place in Flagstaff, Arizona, and will be publicly announced by the Bureau of Land Management no later than 15 days prior to the meeting.

The BLM received public input requesting that a meeting be held in Arizona. Moving the meeting to Flagstaff allows the BLM to conduct scoping in a broader geographic area surrounding the proposed project.

Map indicates Grand Canyon - Parashant National Monument, Arizona Strip, Arizona | Map courtesy of BLM, St. George News
Map indicates Grand Canyon – Parashant National Monument, Arizona Strip, Arizona | Map courtesy of BLM, St. George News

The proposed project

The Bureau of Land Management Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Arizona Strip Field Office are proposing the Uinkaret Mountains Landscape Restoration Project and are studying management methods which may include manual, mechanical and chemical treatments, management of wildfires, use of prescribed fires, and seeding treatments, depending on the specific resource management goals and desired outcomes.

The restoration project area is approximately 128,535 acres, of which about 88,272 acres are within Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and about 40,263 acres are within the Arizona Strip Field Office.

At present, the BLM has identified the following preliminary issues:

  • Excessive fuel loadings, including closed-canopy stands and ladder fuels, are contributing to the risk of large high-intensity wildfires, and posing a threat to resources including wildlife habitat, species diversity, and wildland urban interface areas.
  • Past management practices, such as timber harvest, livestock grazing, and fire suppression have affected vegetation communities, altering species composition, structure and function in many portions of the project area including wilderness.
  • Pinyon and juniper species are encroaching or expanding into the sagebrush and ponderosa pine communities causing a decline in species diversity, hydrologic function, and a decrease in the quality of important wildlife habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation.
  • Accelerated soil erosion in parts of the project area is decreasing nutrient cycling and soil productivity.
  • Habitat conditions have declined in areas with sagebrush monoculture and continuous closed canopy stands, resulting in a lack of species diversity and accelerated soil erosion.

The public scoping comment period for the project environmental impact statement began on Oct. 21.

Comments may be made through the public hearing process, by mail or email as indicated under Resources below.

Resources

  • Submit comments | Email | Fax 435-688-3258 | Mail or in person to 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah
  • For more information contact Richard Spotts | Email | telephone 435-688-3207
  • BLM Grand Canyon Parashant website
  • BLM Arizona Strip website
  • Uinkaret Mountains Landscape Restoration Project website

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1 Comment

  • bishpoul November 9, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    The washington county assessor’s is broken. We need someone top fix it.

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