Shutdown forces BLM to suspend most AZ activities - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Shutdown forces BLM to suspend most AZ activities

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Bureau of Land Management has suspended essentially all services, with the exception of law enforcement and emergency response, on its 12.2 million acres of public land in Arizona.

A BLM spokeswoman said approximately 4,000 recreation facilities nationwide were closed Tuesday.

In Arizona, BLM closures include 14 developed campgrounds around the state, such as Burro Creek near Kingman, Painted Rocks near Gila Bend and Hot Well Dunes near Safford.

The BLM will furlough 452 of its approximate 507 employees in Arizona during the funding lapse. After the initial shutdown procedures are completed, the BLM will maintain a total of 55 excepted employees with an additional 55 employees on call in the state.

Suspended activities and services will include:

  • Non-emergency Abandoned Mine Land and hazardous-materials mitigation
  • Processing of oil and gas drilling permits
  • Processing of lease sales, permits and other non-emergency authorizations of onshore oil and gas, coal and other minerals
  • Permits and approvals for renewable energy and other rights-of-way issuances
  • Endangered Species Act and cultural clearances
  • Range management restoration
  • Wild horse and burro adoptions
  • Sand and gravel permits
  • Timber sales
  • Work on resource management plans, including those driven by court deadlines

In Fiscal Year 2012, Arizona received more than 5.7 million visitors every year contributing more than $496 million to local economies, according to a BLM news release.

The BLM in Arizona also oversees 35.8 million acres of subsurface mineral estate, where resources include oil, gas, coal, copper, silver, sand and gravel.

Because the BLM website will not be maintained during the shutdown, the BLM will re-direct user to the Interior Department's site, where additional information will be available at www.DOI.gov/shutdown as well as at OPM.gov.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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