The environmental impact of further development of Saul’s Meadow for a campground by the BLM and Sevier County needs further investigation. I read the 21-page Environmental Assessment (EA) posted by the BLM and these are among the issues I see:
1. Many of the residents of this county do not know enough about the plan for Saul’s Meadow to comment on the assessment. In the EA it states it is what the residents are/were asking for, but I have not heard that in feedback from those in Glenwood, Elsinore and Venice.
2. Currently the roads posted by the BLM used to access Saul’s Meadow go directly through the towns of two residential areas — Glenwood and Annabella. Other roads need to be developed and used in order to keep Off Road Vehicles and other traffic out of towns.
3. The amount of water proposed for this development seems to be far under what it would actually take out of the supply. A 0.5 acre-foot of water for two large group sites, more than 10 individual sites, corrals etc. is not enough. For reference 0.45 acre-foot is what one home in the county needs in order to meet county regulations.
I hope in the future more will be done to ensure the public is aware of what is happening in the county, particularly in the area that will see the most environmental impact. In this case, it is Glenwood. Posting an article in the newspaper doesn’t seem to solicit the kind of response needed for such a large project. In addition there was no reference to the actual Environmental Assessment that we as community members were asked to comment on. I had to get outside help in order to track it down on the Internet.
The comment period ended June 12, which didn’t give me enough time to understand and investigate the issues as well as get this letter in before it ended. I think others in the valley would also have input if an extension was granted.