SUWA Statement on the Dolores River Travel Management Plan (TMP) Scoping Period – 5.24.24

May 24th, 2024 Written by suwa

May 24, 2024

SUWA Statement on the Dolores River Travel Management Plan (TMP) Scoping Period – 5.24.24

Laura Peterson, Staff Attorney, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA); (801) 236-3762;
Grant Stevens, Communications Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA); (319) 427-0260;

Salt Lake City, UT –  On Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced the start of a public scoping period for the Dolores River motorized vehicle Travel Management Plan. Below is a statement from SUWA Staff Attorney Laura Peterson and additional information. 

“Home to Utah’s portion of the Dolores River, as well as Granite and Beaver Creeks, the planning area is exceptionally remote, rugged, and biologically significant. Its varied terrain–ranging from classic redrock cliffs and serpentine riparian canyons to forested plateaus–attracts hunters, mountain bikers, intrepid river runners, and those seeking solitude on public lands,” said Laura Peterson, SUWA Staff Attorney. 

“Previous BLM travel management plans heavily favored motorized recreation at the expense of biological and cultural resources as well as non-motorized recreationists. This plan is an opportunity for BLM to bring a more balanced approach to where vehicle use should and should not occur.  We look forward to participating in the scoping period and encouraging our members to speak up and make their voices heard throughout the planning process.”

Additional information: 

The Dolores River motorized vehicle Travel Management area encompasses roughly 130,000 acres of BLM-managed lands east of Moab, adjacent to the Colorado border. The northern portion of the planning area, bounded by the Colorado and Dolores Rivers, is known as the Dolores Triangle. South of the Dolores River, red rock buttes and grassy mesas give way to the La Sal Mountains in the south.  The planning area includes a portion of Kokopelli’s Trail and a number of designated BLM campgrounds. 

As explained by the BLM: “Public scoping takes a look at how the BLM should gather data points and what elements and issues we should consider when drafting the travel plan. Once the scoping period is complete, the BLM uses the information gathered to create the draft management plan for consideration. This includes specific route designations and different alternatives.”

The Dolores River Travel Management Plan is one of 11 travel plans the BLM is completing over the next few years as part of a 2017 court-supervised settlement agreement between the agency, conservation, and ORV groups. Covering more than 6 million acres of BLM-managed lands in eastern and southern Utah, these plans determine where motorized vehicles will be allowed on some of Utah’s wildest public lands. To date, the BLM has completed three of the 11 plans, with others underway, including the San Rafael Swell and Henry Mountains/Dirty Devil. Read more about SUWA’s litigation to ensure these travel plans follow federal laws to protect public lands and resources.