SUWA and Partners Win Stay on Proposed ATV Route in Bears Ears

Great news in the fight for Bears Ears!

Indian Creek (c) Tim Peterson, flown by Lighthawk.

Indian Creek (c) Tim Peterson, flown by Lighthawk.

Yesterday, the Department of the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) issued an order granting SUWA’s Petition for Stay in our recent appeal fighting new ATV trails in Indian Creek, inside Bears Ears National Monument.

Finding that SUWA and our partners Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Grand Canyon Trust, and the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club would be irreparably harmed by allowing construction of new motorized trails in Indian Creek, the IBLA concluded that the public interest would be best served by immediately staying the construction of the trails “to prevent harm to the environment and preserve the status quo.”

This order is the first step in ensuring the Monument is protected from increasing motorized use and prohibits BLM from beginning construction until the IBLA has ruled on the merits of our appeal, for which they have already said we have a high likelihood of success when they granted our petition for stay.

This is an exciting victory for wilderness, and is the first time an administrative body or court has addressed the legal effect of the Bears Ears National Monument Proclamation, which calls for careful consideration and analysis when managing the spectacular and irreplaceable resources within its boundaries. See a report on our appeal here, and read the IBLA’s order granting our Petition for Stay here.