With its treasure trove of archeological sites, windswept slickrock and twisting red rock canyons, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah is an awe-inspiring place. Little wonder, then, that it was the first national monument set aside as part of the National Landscape Conservation System, specifically to protect the area in its natural state.
But a proposed federal plan for this area could irreparably alter the Grand Staircase-Escalante. The plan calls for relaxed restrictions on "chaining," the practice of dragging a chain between two bulldozers to scrape off trees and shrubs; and new motorized use on up to 1,000 miles of routes within fragile areas.
You can help. Since this proposal is still in draft form, there is a good chance that it will be finalized under the Obama administration.
The BLM needs to hear that the Grand Staircase must be protected as a spectacular natural area that will be cherished by many generations of Americans. Please sign today.
Dear Mr. Chapman:
As one of the last places in the continental U.S. to be mapped, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a truly remarkable gem of our public land heritage. Due to the remoteness of this vast landscape, this area has been able to maintain much of its solitude and naturalness that make it an important repository of wilderness, wildlife habitat, scientific and cultural resources.
But the Draft Monument Management Plan Amendment & Draft Rangeland Health Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) contains amendments that would scar this important and natural landscape for years to come, including new motorized use on up to 1,000 miles of routes within fragile areas and permitting chaining and the use of more invasive species in the monument.
These amendments are directly contrary to the proclamation that established this monument. Please adopt the Conservation alternative for your final plan, which will protect the monument's resources and values, including cultural sites, wildlife and wilderness.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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