Public lands


The public lands in Washington County contribute to our quality of life, providing areas for world class outdoor recreation, protects water quality and clean air as well as provides wildlife habitat. Conserve Southwest Utah (CSU) is working to ensure the irreplaceable cultural, scenic, ecological and scientific values are protected and properly conserved. Our policy work mainly focuses on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) projects and management. We work to rally public involvement to support common sense approaches to land management that will preserve our resources for future generations.

BLM Planning

For the past six years, the BLM has been working on their land use planning for lands in Washington County. The 2009 Lands Bill directed BLM to create Resource Management Plans (RMP) for the new National Conservation Areas, Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs as well as complete a Travel Management Plan (TMP) for all BLM lands in Washington County. The plans will guide management of our NCAs and other BLM lands for the next 10-15 years! These plans are incredibly important to future management of our public lands.

Draft BLM Resource Management Plans for NCAs

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE FILE (please note that this is a large file, 150 MB, and may take a while to download)

Also released was a draft amendment to the 1999 RMP, in which BLM designated their land in Washington County as Open-Closed-Limited to motorized use. Open areas are where cross-country off highway vehicle travel is permitted. Closed areas are not available for motorized use. Limited areas are designated to routes and trails only. The reduction in open areas in the DRAFT is due to the topography of landscape and you can’t have vehicles driving anywhere. The Plan Amendment also included designations of Areas of Critical Environment Concern (ACEC).

The Comprehensive Travel and Management Plan will be released for Public comment after a record of decision on the NCA Resource Management Plans. The Travel Plan will address access needs for a wide array of public land users for roads and trails for motorized and non motorized use in Washington County. We will update you when the Travel and Management Plan comes out for public comment.

Key Issues

  • We oppose placing a highway through the protected Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, an area of high recreational use and habitat for wildlife and for the Desert Tortoise.
  • Preserve and manage the high recreational, natural, and scenic values of our NCAs
  • Provide places for wildlife and quiet recreation
  • Provide triggers to close trails for better management of resource