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BLM Wants Input on Nine Mile Canyon

Bill Bryant (used by permission)
Native American rock art in Nine Mile Canyon

  Nine Mile Canyon near Price is famous around the world for its rock art, which dates back a thousand years or more.  Federal land managers want some guidance on how to manage the area so the public can enjoy it.

The Bureau of Land Management is starting work on an environmental assessment for Nine Mile Canyon.  There are as many as 100-thousand Native American rock art images on the canyon walls, but it’s also close to some of Utah’s most productive oil and gas fields.

The BLM is asking for public input on recreation resources in the canyon, which currently has no developed campgrounds and few trails.  Jerry Spangler with the Colorado Plateau Archeological Alliance, says it’s not a simple question.

“It’s a tapestry of private lands, state trust lands and B-L-M lands," Spangler tells KUER. "So any type of management of those resources is going to take cooperation between all of those entities.”

Spangler says campgrounds, roads and trails are not the only things that need to be considered.  He says the challenges are different now than they were only a few years ago.

Spangler says, “People are into extreme sports.  They’re into using private drones to find archeological sites.  All of these issues need to be addressed within the context of how we use public lands today.”

The deadline for public comment on the scoping document is October 3rd

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