BLM seeking public comment for increasing permit numbers at 'The Wave'

By Phil Clark
Lake Powell Chronicle

PAGE – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment for proposed change in management of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.

The BLM announced yesterday, Sept. 13, that a preliminary environmental assessment – that considers an increase in visitor access to the wilderness: The Wave – was released and it evaluates a variety of options to increase recreational access while concurrently preserving wilderness values.  

The public has the opportunity to provide input on the preliminary EA and alternatives during a 30-day comment period from now until Oct. 12.

Alternative A analyzes up to 96 people per day and Alternative B analyzes up to 48 people per day, not including the number of guide company staff leading visitors into the wilderness. 

Decision-makers could select a combination of components from any of the alternatives in the final decision. The decision could be one of the alternatives in whole, or a combination of components from any of the alternatives. The EA and alternatives also include a number of actions that would mitigate issues connected to a possible increase in visitor numbers.

Alternatives A and B are based on visitor limits established in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Resource Management Plan. Alternative C, the no action alternative (the current number of 20) is considered and analyzed to provide a baseline for comparing the impacts of the other alternatives. No changes to permit numbers for Coyote Buttes South or Buckskin/Paria Canyon are proposed.

Public meetings will take place at the following locations:

  • September 24: 5-8 p.m. at Red Lion Hotel, 850 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah.
  • September 25: 5-8 p.m. at Page Public Safety community room, 808 Coppermine Road, Page.
  • September 26: 5-8 p.m. at Kanab Middle School, 690 South Cowboy Way, Kanab, Utah.

The EA and related documents are available for review on BLM's ePlanning website (

Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments directly on the ePlanning website. Comments may also be mailed to the BLM Arizona Strip District Office at 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, UT 84790, to the attention of Brandon Boshell. Please include “Paria Canyon–Vermilion Cliffs EA Comments” in the subject line.

For questions about this project, please contact Brandon Boshell at (435) 688-3241 or [email protected].