ESCALANTE, Garfield County -- Ranchers who live and work in areas adjacent to and in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument want more multiple use of routes that have been designated as " administrative roads" in the proposed Environmental Impact Statement.

This came to light during a recent meeting of livestock men and other interests with Garfield and Kane county officials, a meeting designed to air and solve transportation issues. Some 16 roads that were not previously so identified but have now been earmarked as administrative roads were at the center of the discussions.Leaders in Garfield and Kane counties have been working with Monument Manager Jerry Meredith and other monument planners in addressing road demands in the Monument. Kane County Commissioner Norm Carroll urged the group to develop a network of roads that would be agreeable to serving both the needs of the people and those of personnel associated with administration of the Monument.

Area residents and officials are identifying routes they feel are needed by cattlemen, hunters, recreationists and other public interests. They are also engaged in outlining their reasons for what they feel are road needs within the Monument.

Under one alternative in the EIS, it states "only authorized users and permit holders would be allowed motorized access not allowed to the general public. Authorized users could include grazing permittees, researchers and others carrying out authorized activities under a permit or other authorization." The routes would be "gated and locked" with "access strictly limited to specific time periods and number of trips."

Monument officials point out that maintenance would be the minimum required to serve administrative purposes and " if the administrative purposes were to cease, the route would be closed."

Area residents are voicing concerns about carrying out day-to-day operations under what they claim would be such "restrictive practices." Even the legality of administration roads was questioned by Garfield County Commissioner Clare Ramsay.