Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Utah county officials want N. Arizona uranium lands opened

Interesting story in the St. George (UT) Spectrum about a roundtable meeting between Arizona and Utah county officials and the BLM. The focus seems to have been on Interior Dept. Order 3310 that allows BLM to designate 'wild lands' for their naturalness factors. Previously, Congress had to formally create wilderness by law. Wilderness is one of the most passionate land debates in Utah. Yet Order 3310 has not generated much attention in Arizona.

But they also weighed in on the proposed withdrawal of nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in northern Arizona from mineral exploration and development. According to the article, commissioners from Utah's Garfield and Washington counties, along the Arizona border, argued in favor keeping the lands open to mineral entry, predicting billions of dollars in economic development for the two state region over the next 40 years.

BLM is accepting public comment on the draft EIS through April 4. The temporary 'segregation' of the million acres ends in July.

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