The Monticello BLM office is requesting comments on its environmental assessment, which analyzed a proposal to give San Juan County a right-of-way to construct a new ATV route across scenic public lands next to Indian Creek, directly east of the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This ATV route would irretrievably impact the Indian Creek-Lockhart Basin proposed wilderness area, and would be a significant conflict with other recreational uses of the area.
The Indian Creek area, located on the east side of Canyonlands National Park, south of Moab, Utah, is famous for its dramatic and sheer Wingate Sandstone cliffs, and is an internationally-known and treasured rock climbing destination. Beyond the sheer walls, as Indian Creek continues its journey downstream towards Indian Creek Falls and its eventual confluence with the Colorado River, off-road vehicle users enjoy many miles of trails that allow for recreational adventures and exploration of the vast canyonlands basin.
Even though the BLM has designated more than 3,000 miles of off-road vehicle routes in San Juan County, including dozens of routes in and near the Indian Creek area, San Juan County is requesting that the BLM grant the county a right-of-way for yet another off-road vehicle trail “to provide an exclusive recreational opportunity for ATV enthusiasts . . .” The proposed ATV trail, approximately 4 miles long, would bisect a roadless areas and could adversely affect this stretch of Indian Creek – a desert stream that supports a variety of wildlife species including desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and golden eagles as it meanders through the redrock and high desert grasslands on its way to the Colorado River.
There are reasonable alternatives to this proposed ATV route (i.e., using existing off-road vehicle routes and roads) that would not impact wild lands, Indian Creek, and its world-famous scenery and that would minimize conflicts with other users of the Indian Creek area. However, the BLM failed to analyze these alternatives in its environmental review.
With your help, we can preserve the scenic and wilderness qualities of the Indian Creek area.
Thanks for your support.