Tabernacle Hill, an unusual volcanic field, should be withdrawn from normal uses and protected as an area of critical environmental concern, the Bureau of Land Management says.

Kemp Conn, the BLM's acting Utah director, said the 3,512-acre withdrawal would better preserve and manage significant recreational, educational and scientific resources.Tabernacle Hill is about 10 miles southwest of Fillmore, just off I-15. The lava field consists of a ring of tuff (orous volcanic rock), caldera, spatter cones, pit craters, pressure ridges and a maze of lava tubes, he said.

If the designation is approved, mining would be precluded, "subject to valid existing rights," Conn said.

"The area would also be closed to vehicle use except on designated roads and the discharge of firearms would be prohibited. Livestock grazing and wildlife habitat management would be allowable."

Recreation, environmental education and scientific study would be the main uses of the volcanic field. The BLM has proposed the construction of a 2.2-mile interpretive trail, a 1.5-mile access road and parking lot, and a small outdoor interpretive display and picnic area, if money becomes available.

Written comments on the withdrawal, accepted until Aug. 19, should be sent to Dave Henderson, area manager, BLM Warm Springs Resource Area, 15 E. Fifth North, Fillmore, UT 84631.