SUWA Statement on the Release of the San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan Preliminary Alternatives – 2.23.24

Feb 22nd, 2024 Written by suwa

February 23, 2024

SUWA Statement on the release of the San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan Preliminary Alternatives – 2.23.24 

Stephen Bloch, Legal Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA); (
Grant Stevens, Communications Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA); (319) 427-0260 (

Salt Lake City, UTYesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released preliminary alternatives for the San Rafael Swell motorized vehicle Travel Management Plan. Below is a statement from SUWA Legal Director Stephen Bloch and additional information. 

“The San Rafael Swell is an iconic and much-visited southern Utah landscape — one where it’s critical that the BLM restore balance between motorized and non-motorized users. The Swell should be known for its spectacular views, cultural sites, and opportunities for solitude. We look forward to reviewing the preliminary alternatives and encouraging our members to speak up and make their voices heard.  —Stephen Bloch, SUWA Legal Director.

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 historical resources, important wildlife habitat, and abundant recreation opportunities. The Swell’s sinuous slot canyons, soaring redrock cliffs, and prominent buttes provide endless enjoyment 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

The preliminary alternatives provide an initial look at the different route networks the BLM will eventually analyze as part of a draft environmental assessment, allowing the public to weigh in as the agency is drafting a new travel plan.

The San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan is one of eleven travel plans the BLM is completing over the next few years as part of a court-supervised settlement agreement between the agency, conservation, and off-road vehicle 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 eleven plans. Read more about SUWA’s litigation to ensure these travel plans follow federal laws to protect public lands and resources.