On December 4, 2017, the President of the United States signed a proclamation significantly reducing the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The proclamation reduced the boundaries to three units within the bounds of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The BLM is moving forward with creating land use plans for these three monuments as well as lands excised from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the Kanab Field Office of the BLM.
Comments on the land use plans are due March 19, 2018, or 15 days after the public meetings (to be announced), whichever is later.
Link to the BLM website:
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument area: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front- office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=renderDefaultPlanOrProjectSite&proj ectId=94706&dctmId=0b0003e881033dcd
Overarching Key Points for These Planning Processes
- We maintain that these proclamations are unlawful revocations of the existing monuments and will be overturned in a court of law. The president only has the authority to create a national monument under the Antiquities Act. Only Congress can revoke or reduce a national monument.
- The illegal proclamations issued by President Trump are already being challenged in court and the BLM’s rush to act is irresponsible.
- The BLM should abstain from planning efforts under the new proclamations for the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments until the legitimacy of these proclamations are fully settled by the courts.
- If the BLM moves forward with these planning processes at this time, it will likely be a colossal waste of time and money for an already strapped agency as these new proclamations are expected to be overturned by the courts. The BLM should spend its money on protecting these monuments and the natural and cultural resources within them for current and future American generations.
- Any actions proposed within the original and valid boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments should only substantially advance the proper care and management of the objects of interest as set forth in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996) creating the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Proclamation 9558 (Dec. 28, 2016) creating the Bears Ears National Monument.
Specific to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (in addition to the “Overarching Key Points” above):
- The BLM should put forth alternatives in its plan that protects the resources of the original monument as set forth in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996). This will ensure that the monument management plan covers both the areas in the original proclamation as well as the reduced areas.
- The BLM should look to the management provided in the current monument management plan for protection of important and sensitive resources in both the original proclamation and reduced areas, including cultural, natural/ecological, paleontological, geological resources as well as Tribal sacred lands and resources as described in Proclamation 6920 (Sept. 18, 1996).
- The public comment period should extend to at least ninety days following the last public hearing.
- Public hearings should be scheduled in Salt Lake City, Utah, Flagstaff, Arizona, Denver, Colorado, Washington D.C. and Albuquerque, New Mexico, in addition to the gateway communities of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Submit comments on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument process to:
By Website: https://goo.gl/EHvhbc
By Mail: 669 S Hwy. 89A, Kanab, UT 84741