BLM proposes ‘Wild and Scenic’ designation for Utah rivers

By on October 20, 2011

Officials at the Bureau of Land Management have proposed 14 miles of waterways in Southern Utah be designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

The protected portions are in eight streams in Iron and Beaver Counties. They contain habitats of endangered wildlife, including the southwestern willow flycatcher and the Mexican spotted owl, according to Forbes. Some streams also contain Bonneville Cutthroat trout, which are listed on the state of Utah’s sensitive species list.

Local officials had mixed reactions to the announcement. Iron County Commissioner Dale Brinkerhoff told Forbes that he is skeptical of “more layers of government regulation.” However Zack Frankel, executive director of the Utah Rivers Council said that wasteful water practices and new project proposals were a problem for the state. Frankel said the proposal was a good starting point and that more waterways should be protected.

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