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Changes at the Wave

Changes at the Wave
May 21
06:18 2019

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to increase the daily number of visitors to The Wave from 20 to 96.

In the last five years, hiking permit requests have skyrocketed.  In 2018, more than 168,000 people submitted applications for the 7,300 available slots.  That meant less than five percent of people who sought permits received one.
The Wave is a six-mile round trip hike in the Vermilion National Monument located east of Kanab, Utah, and west of Page, Arizona in Coconino County.
A 45-day comment period is underway; three public scoping meetings will be held, including one in Page on June 5 and one in Kanab on June 4.
The new system could be in place by November.
Conservationists express concern about the visitation increase.  Says Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity, “It means more people in your photographs, more people walking off trails onto sensitive soil, and more disruption to wildlife.”
The official BLM press release:

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Strip Field Office is encouraging public comments on a proposed change in management and other related actions concerning the Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, located east of Kanab, Utah, and west of Page, Arizona. A 45-day public comment period will run from May 8 to June 21, 2019.

The proposed change would increase recreational opportunities and visitor access while preserving wilderness values, as directed in Secretarial Orders 3347 and 3366. The BLM is considering increasing daily visitor limits from 20 people to a maximum of 96 people per day (based on limits established in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Resource Management Plan) in Coyote Buttes North where the geologic feature known as the Wave is located. No changes to permit numbers for Coyote Buttes South or Buckskin/Paria Canyon are proposed. The BLM is seeking public input regarding resource concerns, access, recreation opportunities, etc., that would be relevant to the analysis.

Scoping meetings will be held at the following locations:

June 4, 2019:  5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Kanab Middle School, 690 S. Cowboy Way, Kanab, Utah.

June 5, 2019:  5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Page at Lake Powell, 600 Clubhouse Drive, Page, Arizona.

June 6, 2019:  5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Dixie Convention Center, 1835 South Convention Center Drive, St. George, Utah.

Documents relevant to this project will be posted on the BLM’s ePlanning home page at: https://go.usa.gov/xmnHg

Please provide comments via email to: blm_az_vcnm_pcvc_comments@blm.gov. Please include “Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs Comments” in the subject line. Comments may also be mailed to 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790 attention Brandon Boshell or sent by fax to (435) 688-3258.

Based upon the issues identified, the BLM will assess the appropriate level of environmental analysis and documentation. If you have questions about this project, please contact Brandon Boshell at (435) 688-3241 or blm_az_vcnm_pcvc_comments@blm.gov.

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