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Bureau of Land Management to take comments on Grand Staircase management plan

About 10 months ago, the Biden administration reset the boundaries of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, which means the Bureau of Land Management will need a new plan.

The BLM will begin the process by taking public input. The initial comment period opened recently and will remain open until Sept. 27.

The monument was created in the mid-90s, amid some controversy, and was reduced in size during the Trump administration.

Mike Popejoy of the Grand Canyon Trust said the new plan could reflect the monument’s diversity of human and natural history.

“The area also has a really rich history of human occupation from indigenous folks through to the present day. And we think there’s an opportunity with this administration to really emphasize the importance of that history and also those perspectives in how the area should be managed,” he said.

You can find out how to comment by going to eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2020343/510.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.