Judge Finds Deficiencies in Richfield RMP

Brian Maffly | Salt Lake Tribune

“A federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Land Management to document that its designation of a 4,377-mile network of motorized routes in central Utah will not harm wildlife and archaeological resources.

The order that U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball issued Friday spells out the “remedy” needed to address deficiencies he found in the BLM’s Richfield resource management plan (RMP) in 2013. The agency has three years to conduct new analyses of the routes in its travel plan, a component of the larger document.

BLM’s Richfield RMP covers 2.1 million acres in Sevier, Garfield, Wayne and Piute counties — a scenic area bounded by Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national parks, extending north up the Sevier Valley and encompassing the Henry Mountains, Factory Butte, the Dirty Devil River and Muddy Creek, among other notable landscapes.”

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To read Judge Kimball’s decision, click here.

 

Dispute Over Utah’s Oil Shale Flowers Heads Back to Court | The Salt Lake Tribune

January 3, 2015

By Brian Maffly

Penstemon 1“The 31-year fight over Utah’s beardtongue, rare wildflowers that grow only near the Uinta Basin’s oil shale outcrops, is far from over despite a new conservation plan that state officials say ensures the plants survival should oil shale mining take off.

This week, the Utah Native Plant Society and other conservation groups formally accused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of ignoring science and caving to political pressure from oil and gas interests when it withdrew a proposed listing for Graham’s and White River beardtongue, also known as penstemon, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).”

Read full story | The Salt Lake Tribune