SUWA Statement on the release of the San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan Draft Environmental Assessment – 6.6.24

Jun 6th, 2024 Written by suwa

June 6, 2024

SUWA Statement on the release of the San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan Draft Environmental Assessment – 6.6.24

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 –  Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a draft environmental assessment for the San Rafael Swell motorized vehicle Travel Management Plan. Below is a statement from SUWA Staff Attorney Laura Peterson and additional information. 

“The San Rafael Swell is a beloved southern Utah landscape – one with endless opportunities for hiking, camping, and spending time with friends and family. It’s critical that the BLM restore balance between motorized and non-motorized users in this special place. The Swell should be known for its spectacular views, cultural sites, and opportunities for solitude, not off-road vehicle damage. We look forward to reviewing the draft environmental assessment and encouraging our members to speak up for the Swell” – Laura Peterson, Staff Attorney.

Additional information: 

The San Rafael Swell Travel Management Area (TMA) encompasses roughly 1,150,000 acres of BLM-managed lands within the Price and Richfield field offices. A beloved backcountry area, the Swell is home to irreplaceable cultural and historic resources, important habitat, and abundant recreation opportunities. The Swell’s sinuous slot canyons, soaring red rock cliffs, and prominent buttes provide countless opportunities for hikers, canyoneers, campers, river runners, climbers, bikers, photographers, and other visitors. It also encompasses recently-designated wilderness areas and the San Rafael Swell Recreation Area

In February, the BLM released preliminary alternatives, which provided an initial look at the different route networks the BLM analyzed for the draft environmental assessment. As part of the travel planning process, the BLM must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A draft environmental assessment analyzes the varying impacts of each alternative travel network the BLM is considering designating.

The BLM is hosting public meetings (on June 25 in Green River, June 26 in Castledale, and on June 27 on Zoom) and is seeking public comment on the draft plan. The agency is accepting public comments on the San Rafael Swell draft environmental assessment and travel plan through Monday, July 22, 2024.

The San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan is one of 11 travel plans the BLM is completing over the next few years as part of a 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 will 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. Read more about SUWA’s litigation to ensure these travel plans follow federal laws to protect public lands and resources.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is a nonprofit organization with members and supporters from around the country dedicated to protecting America’s redrock wilderness. From offices in Moab, Salt Lake City, and Washington, DC, our team of professionals defends the redrock, organizes support for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, and stewards this world-renowned landscape. Learn more at