Facebook Twitter

BLM WORKSHOPS TO CHART COURSE FOR SAND FLATS ARTS, RECREATION PARK

SHARE BLM WORKSHOPS TO CHART COURSE FOR SAND FLATS ARTS, RECREATION PARK

Two meetings are scheduled early next month to determine issues to address in a management plan and proposal for a national recreation and performing arts park in the Sand Flats area.

The Bureau of Land Management has set public workshops for Thursday, Aug. 2, in Moab and Tuesday, Aug. 7, in Salt Lake City to discuss plans for a Kokopelli National Outdoor Theater and Slickrock Recreation Area east of Moab.The Moab workshop will be conducted at the District BLM Office, 82 E. Dogwood. The Salt Lake workshop will be at the Salt Palace, Suite E. Both sessions are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with a briefing on the proposals, according to a BLM news release.

The workshops are to help the BLM define objectives for managing and developing approximately 370 acres for cooperative use by outdoor recreationists and fine arts performers and patrons.

In announcing the workshops, Brad Palmer, Grand Resource Area manager, said BLM objectives will include restoration of visual quality at popular dispersed camping areas, protection of natural resources, installation of adequate recreation facilities and mitigation of impact on other uses, such as livestock grazing, bike trail-riding and jeeping.

The Kokopelli National Outdoor Theater would be administered by the BLM as a national center for the performing arts in partnership with the University of Utah, which has proposed developing an outdoor theater as an extension of the U. College of Fine Arts.

The university would develop arts facilities as part of a lease agreement with the BLM under provisions of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.

The area proposed for development of the performing arts center is on approximately 10 acres of federal land about two miles east of Moab near the Slickrock Bike Trail.

Above the Moab Valley, the site provides a panoramic view encompassing Wilson Mesa and the Manti-LaSal Mountains to the east, Arches National Park across the Colorado River gorge to the west, Porcupine Rim above Castle Valley to the north and the Moab Rim to the south.

A dirt road maintained by Grand County cuts through the middle of the proposed park west to east from the Slickrock Bike Trail. It connects with the scenic LaSal Mountain Loop Road which is accessible from the north through Castle Valley and from the south through Moab.

Currently, the BLM is negotiating with the Division of State Lands and Forestry to acquire school trust lands within the proposed recreation area. At least one state section is being eyed for a campground.

Cost of the project is estimated at approximately $9.5 million, according to federal legislation introduced this month. Bills presented by Utah's congressional delegation seek a $6 million appropriation for phased development of a theater-in-the-round, a natural rock amphitheater, an observatory and an enclosed stage.