Derek Dowsett is the Producer of the County Seat. Now entering his 11th season of the program, he has received what he considers a "Crash Course" in County Government.

We’ve all had plans fall apart and it very well could be caused by things outside of our control. I think that is something that we can all agree on particularly with an issue as contentious as grazing on public lands.

This week on the County Seat we will take a look at the current state of the planning amendment process taking place on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument involving livestock grazing. This may be one of the most challenging plans to develop because of a number of factors. You will want to watch our story:
for the background and take a look at the preliminary alternatives that the BLM will be looking into:

The comment period is open until the 20th of January, 2015.

Our guests this week:

David deRoulhac, Grand Canyon Trust
Matt Betenson, Assistant Monument Manager, Grand Staircase Escalante
Dell LeFevre, Rancher and Garfield County Commissioner

The panel will talk about the planning process and what has been done to make the process as open to the public as possible. That isn’t to say their isn’t some skepticism.

And that’s what I was referring to in the opening remarks of this email. There is still what I would describe as a mistrust among some of the parties. My observation is that it has little to nothing to do with any of the people involved. I think it has more to do with the constant legal challenges and litigation that surround a number of issues that we tackle on the program. The crux of the issue is that the real problems are never worked out with any finality.

For example there was the much celebrated compromise in the Uintah Basin involving Penstemon:

and then this week we see a challenge to the previous agreement:

Now that is the system at work but I think that these constant challenges make it hard to work together in good faith.

Okay I’ll get off my soapbox. Thank you for reading this far.

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