Dear BLM St. George Field Office:
I write to oppose the excessive public land regulations included in the Draft Resource Management Plan for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas, Draft Amendment to the St. George Field Office Resource Management Plan, and Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Specifically, I oppose:
· The elimination of the county’s largest open ATV ride area, in and around the Mineral Mountain and Gold Strike areas and in its place a new 87,000 acre multi-species management area that will limit access and could potentially limit mining, hunting, grazing, and OHV use;
· The introduction of the endangered California Condor into the area or any other protected species;
· The unjustified restrictions on grazing that will directly harm area ranchers;
· The BLM’s acquisition of water rights and any new limitations on water passing through or leaving the NCAs (Water planning should be carried out by the local population and not federal land managers!);
· The elimination of language requiring local collaboration and cooperation in public land management;
· The lack of a corridor route in any alternative that would allow a northern corridor along the route preferred by Washington County;
· The proposal of 3 new Areas of Critical Environmental Concern in the preferred alternative—when all concerns could be addressed through management rather than a land designation;
· The unnecessarily large designation for the Old Spanish Trail Corridor;
· Additional restrictions on recreation possibly through the SERMA classifications;
· Managing large portions of the NCAs as if they were wilderness;
· Failure to address the economic consequences to citizens and governments of Washington County;
· Increasing the difficulty of accessing public lands by the elderly and people with disabilities; and
· Interfering with traditional historic uses like hunting, fishing, and rock gathering.
Thank you for considering my comments.