Livestock Grazing and Trailing Management Plan Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the release of the Environmental Assessment for a Draft Livestock Grazing and Trailing Management Plan (draft plan/EA) for Capitol Reef National Park (the park). Public comments will be accepted during a 30-day public comment period closing on August 17, 2018. You can download and review the draft plan/EA, and find more information about submitting comments, by clicking on the 'Open for Comment' link on the left side of this page, and then on the link for the 'Livestock Grazing and Trailing Management Plan EA.' In addition, we will be hosting a public meeting in Bicknell, UT on August 1. For more information about the meeting please click on the 'Meeting Notices' link on the left side of this page.
The draft plan/EA seeks to promote the shared conservation and stewardship of the natural resources, ecological processes, and cultural resources of Capitol Reef by providing guidance and tools to the NPS and permit holders for the long-term management of livestock grazing and trailing. The draft plan/EA does not analyze the impact of discontinuing or eventually phasing out grazing or trailing because current privileges remain in effect; discontinuing these uses prior to the legislated timeline would require action on the part of both Congress and the National Park Service.
The planning process began with meetings, discussions, and scoping with Cooperating Agencies (including Emery, Garfield, and Wayne Counties (UT), the State of Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service), consulting agencies (e.g., the US FIsh and Wildlife Service) and the public in 2014 and 2015. The comments NPS received were used to help inform and develop alternatives and analysis that are now included in the draft plan/EA. Similarly, NPS will use the comments received on the draft plan/EA to finalize the plan.
When the NPS began the planning process, there were two active grazing allotments that existed within the park - the Hartnet Allotment in the Cathedral District and the Sandy 3 Allotment in the Waterpocket District. In early 2018, the Hartnet Allotment permit holder willingly sold their permit to a non-governmental organization and thereby relinquished their rights to graze within the park, but retain the right to trail cattle.
As a result, the NPS adjusted planning efforts for the livestock grazing and trailing management plan to address long-term management and permitting of grazing on the Sandy 3 Allotment. The EA also analyzes the effects of issuing permits on eight traditional livestock trailing routes currently used by permit holders, and the effects of issuing two new trailing permits to the former Hartnet Allotment permittee. Under current law, grazing will continue as long as the current generation of permit holders continues to operate. Trailing livestock across the park along traditional routes will continue indefinitely.
Capitol Reef National Park
HC 70 Box 15
Torrey, UT 84775