Resource Management Plans (RMP) for the Beaver Dam Wash & Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas,
and Plan Amendment for the St. George Field Office RMP
The 63,478 acre Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area (NCA) and the 44,859 acre Red Cliffs NCA are located within the administrative boundaries of the St. George Field Office, in Washington County, Utah. Congress established the two NCAs when, on March 30, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11, OPLMA); Subtitle O concerns federal lands in Washington County, Utah. The two NCAs were created to “conserve, protect, and enhance…the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources" of the public lands (OPLMA Sections 1974 and 1975).
Through OPLMA, the St. George Field Office was directed develop comprehensive management plans for the two NCAs and also take actions on other public lands in Washington County that require the St. George Field Office Record of Decision (ROD) and RMP (approved in 1999, amended in 2001) be amended. The three planning efforts were initiated concurrently in 2010, thereby facilitating the preparation of a single EIS to disclose the environmental consequences of implementing the two new land use plans and an amendment to the current St. George Field Office RMP.
On July 17, 2015, the BLM released the Draft RMPs for the Beaver Dam Wash NCA and the Red Cliffs NCA, a Draft Amendment to the St. George Field Office RMP, and a Draft EIS for a 90 day public review and comment period. The BLM distributed a newsletter that announced the availability of the draft plans, the dates and locations of three public Open Houses, and provided information about how to provide comments. The draft documents were posted on the BLM’s website and were available as hard copies and CDs at the Interagency Public Information Center in St. George, the BLM-Utah State Office, the Washington County Library (St. George) and the Salt Lake City Main Library. The documents were also available at the three public Open Houses that were held in early September in St. George, Hurricane, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Responding to requests from the public, the BLM-Utah Acting State Director extended the comment period until November 16, 2015.
On September 2, 2016, the BLM released the Proposed RMPs and Proposed Amendment/Final EIS. This began a 30 day protest period and a concurrent 60 day Governor’s Consistency Review. The BLM Director resolved all protests without making any changes to the Approved RMPs/Approved Plan Amendment. The three Records of Decision and Approved RMPs/Approved Plan Amendment were released on December 21, 2016.