|Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon signs the agreement while Don Lum, BLM ranger, Commissioner Gary Kofford and Patrick Gubbins, Price Field Office Manager look on. The agreement is the first of its kind between BLM and Emery County.|
A new cost share agreement between the Bureau of Land Management's Price Field Office and the Emery County Sheriff will add a deputy sheriff assigned specifically to patrol public lands and enforce the San Rafael route designation plan released in February.
Price Field Office Manager Patrick Gubbins described the agreement as "huge." "We just doubled our law enforcement presence overnight. And to do it this way-a joint venture between Emery County and BLM is especially gratifying. What better way to demonstrate that we are working together to enhance resource protection and make the San Rafael Swell a better, safer place for people to enjoy," said Gubbins.
Under the agreement, approved by the Emery County Commission on March 18, BLM will provide funds to cover salary costs. In return, Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon will assign a deputy to a public lands beat on a full-time basis. "This is a good example of the spirit of cooperation. It is the first opportunity, due to funding shortages in the county, to help protect this land that we all love and enjoy," said Sheriff Guymon.
While BLM provides supplemental funding to several county sheriffs in the state, this is the first such agreement that has been crafted. "This agreement reflects a paramount need and the exemplary working relationship between BLM and Emery County," said Gubbins.
Sheriff Guymon stated he would implement the agreement immediately by re-assigning one of his deputies and backfilling behind the position later. "This agreement is long overdue, as the San Rafael Swell has been neglected for far too long from an enforcement perspective. It has always seemed ludicrous for anyone to believe that this large, vast area could be adequately patrolled by one BLM ranger." The current agreement is for five years contingent upon available funding from both agencies.
The agreement with Emery County is one of many partnerships that have been established since the BLM announced the San Rafael Route Designation Plan just over one month ago. OHV Clubs, Eagle Scouts, environmental groups and many individuals have volunteered their time to place signs, repair damaged land areas and build fences, among many projects.
"We are very grateful for the community support the Price Field Office is receiving during the implementation of this crucial plan," said Utah State BLM Director Sally Wisely. "This agreement is part of an ongoing process to bring the community together to help protect and take care of the special resources on these public lands."
Those who are interested in participating in volunteer projects in the San Rafael area can contact the Price Field Office at (435) 636-3600 or see www.ut.blm.gov/sanrafaelohv. Maps and other information on the Route Designation Plan can also be obtained through that office.