The comment period for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) draft resource management plan for the Price Field Office will end on Nov. 29 after a 45 day extension. The BLM made the decision to extend the comment period after they received a number of requests from the public and other government agencies. BLM originally released the draft RMP and environmental impact statement to the public on July 16 for their review and comment. It considers an array of management options for future public land management. Comments were originally due to be delivered by Oct. 15.
As a result of the extension, the Emery County Economic Development Council will host a RMP education night on Nov. 16 to update local residents on the potential effects of the RMP and to provide an opportunity to ask questions to pertinent officials. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Emery County building on the second floor. Attendees will receive assistance in developing written comments to submit to the BLM.
The Emery County Economic Development council, which includes an assortment of local business owners, representatives from state, federal and local agencies, and concerned citizens, hopes this education night will be a beneficial follow up to the successful Emery County Economic Development Summit, held in September.
The chairman for the group, Marc Stilson, said "The decisions made by the BLM in the RMP have the potential to impact virtually every aspect of the future economic growth of Emery County. The coal mines, the power plants, and the farmers all could see their business impacted, depending on the outcome of the RMP." He added, "It is absolutely critical that the residents of Emery County provide written comment to the BLM before the comment period ends. We need to provide the input that demonstrates just how dependent we are on the land."
To date, more than 50,000 comments have been received by the BLM on the RMP. Because of the large scale of the plan, the BLM is required to address each of the comments prior to making a final decision on the plan. The education meeting is expected to assist local residents in understanding issues relating to the RMP sufficiently to allow them to provide beneficial comments to the BLM.
The draft RMP provides four management concepts for the Carbon and Emery county BLM managed lands. Of particular interest in the RMP will be the specific management practices that will guide uses at popular destinations such as the San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile Canyon and Desolation Canyon. The selected plan will also guide recreation activities in the region such as OHV use, individual and group camping opportunities and certain trail and road use designations.
The plan will not attempt to resolve specific road disputes that fall under the classification of RS-2477 roads. Instead, the BLM will use the recently completed San Rafael Route Designation Plan to guide the decisions made in the plan. RS-2477 roads will continue to be handled through negotiations and legal actions between the state, the counties, the BLM and interested parties. On Aug. 31, the Utah Attorney General's office filed notice with the BLM of their intention to sue on the closures of 10 specific RS-2477 roads in Emery County
The Draft RMP/EIS may be viewed electronically at www.pricermp.com or by calling the Price Field Office at 435-636-3600. Comments can be submitted via the website or sent to Price Field Office RMP Comments, Attention: Floyd Johnson, 125 South 600 West, Price, UT, 84501.