Letter to the Editor: Build up BLM to protect our finest lands

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“March temperatures are perfect for mountain biking, rock climbing, and river rafting trips, so increasingly the state is a spring break destination for college kids and families. The record-breaking number of visitors to Utah in 2020 indicates that despite COVID-19, there will also be a record number of visits this year. Many of these visitors will spend time enjoying Utah’s 22.9 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Yet, decision-makers in Washington have increasingly neglected to staff the BLM fully. PEER recently dug into employment numbers at the BLM and found that relative to other federal land management agencies like the Forest Service and Park Service, BLM is understaffed. When comparing staffing between Utah National Park Arches and Utah BLM, the difference is shocking. Arches has approximately one Park Service employee for every 1,530 acres, while BLM has one employee for every 37,377 acres.”