Public hearings are scheduled the next two Wednesdays as part of a public comment period on proposals for the Bureau of Land Management to regulate camping on undeveloped lands along the Colorado River and certain tributaries.

These hearings Oct. 10 and 17 are to discuss a Grand County Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to create fee campsites at designated areas and limit additional uses of impacted public lands to daytime recreational activities only.Presentation of the draft recommendation and alternative proposals is scheduled for 7 p.m. each date in the Grand County Courthouse council chambers. Written comments are being accepted through Oct. 22 and should be addressed to the Grand County Blue Ribbon Committee, P.O. Box 970, Moab UT 84532.

Alternatives include closing all BLM-administered lands to camping; closing most BLM lands to camping but leaving some open for lease to concessionaires to develop and manage camping facilities; or leaving BLM lands in the study area open to camping.

The committee's recommended plan, adopted last month for presentation to Grand County commissioners and the BLM, is part of a management concept for the Colorado River corridor and special recreational areas that the task force has been working on for more than a year.

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(Additional information)

Colorado River Corridor

- Limit camping to suitable, designated sites with no hazardous conditions, resource conflicts, or unacceptable day-use conflicts (picnicking, fishing, sightseeing, beach play or hiking).

- Install vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, site number posts and information boards at overnight cluster sites.

- Establish self-serve reservation and fee-collection systems at camping areas.

- Manage non-camping areas for day-use activities, providing toilets, information signs and centralized garbage Dumpsters.

- Provide patrol and interpretive information to users to ensure compliance with camping and day-use restrictions, maintenance of facilities and preservation of resources.

- Establish some developed public campgrounds, group and overflow camping areas managed by the BLM or a concessionaire.

- Encourage development of camping facilities on private lands in the study area.

- Post and publish information on alternate public and private camping sites in the Moab area.

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Items open for comment

The Grand County Blue Ribbon Committee is seeking specific comment and suggestions on:

- Locations and seasons for designated camping.

- How many and what type of camping and day-use facilities are needed.

- The degree of management needed.

- Sources and collection of funding or fees to maintain facilities.

- Enforcement strategies.