Last week, we joined the National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and other regional conservation groups in calling on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to help start a dialogue about the future of the Greater Canyonlands region. Will you write BLM Director Bob Abbey today and ask for an opportunity to comment on the future management of the Greater Canyonlands region? A few minutes of your time could help bring a balanced comprehensive management plan to this spectacular area.
Labyrinth Canyon, within the Greater Canyonlands region, is one spectacular area that is threatened by off-road vehicle conflicts. Photo copyright Tom Till.
Canyonlands National Park is one of the “crown jewels” of the National Park System, boasting iconic places like the Maze, the Needles and Cataract Canyon. But just outside of the park boundaries lie vast roadless landscapes comparable to those found within, but which lack coherent management.
At the end of the Bush administration, the BLM rushed to finalize travel management plans in southern Utah that designated thousands of miles of off-road vehicle (ORV) routes, while failing to adequately study the impacts of this use on water, land and archeological resources. Our extensive fieldwork has shown that roughly 1,000 miles of these routes in the Greater Canyonlands region conflict with sensitive resources. We have asked Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to temporarily close these areas to vehicles through our Petition to Protect the Greater Canyonlands Region until the BLM has a chance to evaluate potential impacts.
Now, we are asking the BLM to start a public discussion around this request to find out what you think about the appropriateness of ORVs in these sensitive landscapes and the damage they inflict on our precious cultural heritage.
Thank you for taking action!