As you write your holiday cards this season, don’t forget the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM is waiting for a special kind of card from you, a “Comment Card” on how and where cattle should be allowed to graze on some of Utah’s most beautiful public lands in Utah.
Public lands belong to all of us.
The 1.8 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, set aside in 1996 for its special plants, geology, archaeology, and wildlife, belongs to you and me.
If we don’t protect it, no one else will.
96% of this desert Monument is open to cattle grazing through private ranching permits, and yet the Monument has never had a grazing plan. Until now.
After 19 years, the Monument has started a public process to develop its first-ever grazing plan.
In January 2014, Grand Canyon Trust, The Wilderness Society, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness submitted a “Sustainable Grazing Alternative”: a proposal for how and where cattle grazing should occur in the Monument. Now the BLM is displaying it as Alternative C, one of the grazing plan proposals they will compare for environmental impacts in their upcoming Environmental Impact Statement, a landmark on the road to developing a grazing plan. Well, most of the Sustainable Grazing Alternative is in Alternative C. (Here‘s where we are in the process).
BLM left a few key elements out of Alternative C, including:
1. A process to allow allotments to become free of cattle if permittees relinquish or retire their permit.
2. Processes for the public to participate in decisions about how and where cattle graze in the Monument.
3. A goal that wildlife habitat be protected from cattle.
Please tell BLM to analyze Alternative C and to include all of the Sustainable Grazing Alternative in it.
The local county commission and many others are telling the BLM to stop developing a grazing plan. This is public land. The BLM needs your support to move forward and assess the benefits of real, needed changes to cattle grazing.
Comment Card Potlucks
If you live near Moab, Teasdale, Castle Valley, Kanab, or Flagstaff, please join us in January for comment card potlucks—we’ll talk, graze on potluck dishes, and fill out comment cards to let the BLM know the Monument – and a complete Alternative C – matter to us.
Comment cards must be submitted to BLM before January 20, 2015:
mail: BLM, GSENM, 669 S. HWY 89-A, Kanab, Utah 84741
fax: (435) 644-1250
Your comment card will help protect the natural landscapes and species of this 1.8 million acre public treasure. These are your lands. Your voice counts.