On Sept. 12, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management opened a preliminary Environmental Assessment to hear from the public about potentially increasing the visitor access to The Wave within the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.
Two of the three proposed alternatives would increase the visitor numbers from its current limit of 20 to either 48 or 96 with the third alternative leaving visitation as it is. The final decision could be one alternative or a combination of recommended actions from any of the choices.
The current lottery system to get a permit to enter The Wave leaves far more visitors disappointed than elated. Approximately 10% of the people in the standing-room-only space receive a permit.
Some visitors have even returned day after day in hopes that will help their chances.
The engaged comments from the public in the scoping process during previous open house events gives BLM officials inspiration that this EA comment period will be beneficial. The BLM will read every comment they receive during the 30 day period from Sept. 13 through Oct. 12, 2019.
“What we’re really looking for are substantive comments,” said Michael Herder, District Manager of the Arizona Strip District. “We’re looking for people to tell us what we missed.”
The BLM will hold three public meetings to have open discussions about the EA in the following locations:
- Sept. 24, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 850 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah.
- Sept. 25, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Police Department community room, 808 Coppermine Road, Page, Arizona.
- Sept. 26, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kanab Middle School, 690 South Cowboy Way, Kanab, Utah.
To read the EA and the related documents see the BLM’s ePlanning website.
Story By: Benjamin Pollchik
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