On Monday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 5, the Bureau of Land Management Canyon Country District Moab and Monticello field offices will offer a joint, virtual customer service week. The sessions, which are free, will last from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day on Zoom and will cover a wide range of topics like the permit application processes and National Environmental Policy Act basics.
“We felt it was important to host something like this because we get a lot of the same questions: How do you fill out an application? Or what needs to be depicted on a map? Where did the fees go that we pay at the campgrounds?” Moab Field Manager Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt said.
“This webinar is just about information sharing. We’re really hoping that the information that we provide answers these questions and gives folks a better understanding of what we do at the BLM, and why.”
Staff said that the goal is to equip residents, community leaders, private landowners, business owners and other community members with an understanding of BLM procedures. Since the Moab and Monticello field offices receive similar questions and cover adjacent areas, they decided to host the webinar jointly, while also addressing topics that are specific to each office and county.
The reasoning behind certain BLM requirements may appear cloudy, so “having staff available to answer questions at a webinar like this is a great way for the BLM to improve customer service,” said Canyon Country District Manager Gary Torres.
The presentations will teach attendees about BLM processes, laws and regulations to foster a greater understanding of the agency’s requirements and procedures. BLM specialists will lead each session, and participants will be able to interact and ask questions about particular operations in real time.
On Monday, presenters will provide an introduction to BLM Canyon Country and cover processes for land use, realty and film permit applications. Tuesday will cover recreation permitting processes and recreation program operations, and Wednesday’s presentations will examine how the BLM manages archeology and its partnerships.
The week will wrap up with sessions about grazing programs and invasive weeds management on Thursday and NEPA basics on Friday. All presentations will be recorded for later viewing, and attendees can choose to attend every day of the week or only select days.
While the Moab and Monticello Field Offices are often preoccupied with camping and recreational regulations, Gaddis-Wyatt stressed that “the BLM is a multiple-use agency,” and should not be confused with the National Parks Service.
“Because we are so recreation focused, people forget that we do have to deal with grazing permits, county roads, cattle guards, power lines — that’s all stuff we take care of as well,” said Gaddis-Wyatt. “When we make decisions, we have a lot to consider. I hope that these presentations share some of the different things we have to deal with.”
“We want to provide the best visitor experience in the recreation world, and then also keep up with the BLM’s other responsibilities,” she continued.
Armed with a better understanding of what the BLM asks for and why, Gaddis-Wyatt hopes that the agency will be able to provide better customer service.
“If the city and county better understand what we do, we can have a stronger partnership,” she said. “If someone has a proposal for a right-of-way or some kind of permit, then they’ll know what we’re asking for, and why, ahead of time.”
Gaddis-Wyatt hopes that the webinar will be an interactive experience and prompt further dialogue. If successful, she envisions a similar event happening every year. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and interact with the BLM specialists throughout the presentations.
“I feel I have a really strong relationship with the county and the city officials. And even though sometimes I receive emails that are not so nice, I get a lot that are very complimentary,” said Gaddis-Wyatt. “I hope that these sessions can help people see us as real people who are doing the best we can.”
Register for the webinar using this link: https://blm.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_6SSvGKl8Qla-1DP2Wemw4g. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Reach out to Moab Field Manager Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (435) 259-2119 with any questions or concerns.
When: Different topics offered at 9 a.m. from Feb. 1 through Feb. 5
Contact: Moab Field Manager Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt at email@example.com or 435-259-2119