ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management will hold three public meeting in Utah to provide information and answer possible questions regarding recently released draft amendments to sage grouse management plans that were finalized in 2015.
The meetings, including one June 26 in Cedar City, are the next step in aligning federal habitat conservation efforts with state wildlife management plans, according toa BLM statement. Other meetings will be conducted June 27 in Vernal and June 28 in Randolph.
Draft Environmental Impact Statements and amendments to the 2015 plans were published May 4, beginning a 90-day public comment period. The BLM release said the three planned meetings will help attendees learn more about the draft plan amendments and formulate written submissions before the comment period ends Aug. 2.
“The BLM’s efforts to align management of sagebrush-steppe habitat with state wildlife management plans will result in increased management flexibility, maintain or improve access to public resources, and promote conservation outcomes,” said Utah state director Ed Roberson. “We believe that the resulting federal and state plans will complement and strengthen each other.”
Plan amendments could affect up to 14 management guiding plans on 4 million acres of public land in Utah. The plans also could affect more than 50 million acres in six other western states.
Western governors have sought changes to the 2015 plans for BLM-managed lands in their states, which spurred the BLM in proceeding with the plan amendments. Comments on the draft amendments will guide the BLM in finalizing changes that build on and strengthen these plans to conserve public land habitat in cooperation with state plans for managing wildlife species, the BLM statement said.
The public meetings will be held in an open-house format, with BLM specialists attending information stations to interact with meeting attendees to provide answers or additional information. Oral comments will not be accepted at the meetings, but computer terminals will be available for submitting written comments on-site.
- What: BLM public forum on sage grouse management plans.
- When: Tuesday, June 26 | 5-7 p.m.
- Where: Festival Hall/Heritage Theater 2nd floor, conference rooms 1 and 2, 105 N. 100 East, Cedar City.