BLM Shifts Planning Efforts in
St. George-Cedar City,
Utah (March 31, 2005) - BLM
announced today that a decision has been made by agency officials to
reallocate funding supporting the St. George OHV Plan Amendment to
higher priority land use planning efforts (RMPs) well underway in other
parts of the state. This action would defer some of the work on the St.
George OHV Plan for off-highway vehicle designations on public lands in
St. George BLM Manager Jim Crisp said: "BLM deeply regrets this change
and understands the ramifications of deferring work on the St. George
amendment, but has no alternative given funding shortfalls being
experienced this year and anticipated in FY 2006. BLM will extend the
scoping period for the plan amendment indefinitely until it can be
determined when funding can be restored to the project. During this
time, the St. George Field Office will continue to consult with
agencies, local governments, tribes, and interested parties to improve
its roads and trails data in anticipation of resuming the plan
amendment in the future."
"Comments on planning issues can still be sent to BLM through the mail
or by email to email@example.com.
We will keep interested parties posted on further developments through
planning bulletins, mailings, and/or media releases," said Crisp.
By mid-April, BLM will post an interim report on its Plan website (www.stgeorgeohvplan.com)
and at information stations throughout Washington County summarizing
information gathered during the scoping period that began on January 1
of this year. Crisp also said BLM will follow up on issues raised
during scoping by working with cooperating agencies, tribes, and
interested groups in assessing travel routes and refining planning
criteria to be used when funds are available to resume the OHV
Reallocation of funds will also delay the start of BLM’s Cedar City
Field Office RMP affecting public lands in Beaver and Iron Counties.
BLM anticipates funding will be restored to allow start up to resume in
Fiscal Year 2007. The delay will give the Cedar City Field Office time
to further expand important resource data and to continue to work with
local governments on understanding social and economic trends in the
affected counties. It will also give the field office further
opportunities to coordinate travel management plans with the Dixie
National Forest and the St. George Field Office.
Cedar City Manager Todd Christensen said, "This delay provides a great
opportunity to coordinate and work closely with Beaver and Iron
counties, local government, Tribes, groups and interested parties to
find common ground and work on the desired future use of the public
"BLM’s management of the public lands affects the ability of the public
to be gainfully employed, enjoy recreational pursuits and find
solitude. We understand that people will want opportunities to interact
with, and present ideas and concerns to the BLM. The Cedar City Field
Office will encourage those contacts as we link our planning effort
with those already underway in preparation for the start of the Cedar
City RMP," said Christensen.
The funds currently supporting new land use planning efforts in St.
George and Cedar City will be shifted to planning projects already
underway in Price, Richfield, Moab and Monticello. The funds are needed
to cover additional costs associated with bringing the four higher
priority plans to completion. Other land use plans underway in Vernal
and Kanab are not affected by the proposal.