Utah Wilderness News, ORV Report Card Edition

SUWA issues the BLM a Report Card on ORV management

Video Courtesy of KSL.com

“Zach Frankel with the Utah Rivers Council said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with ATV recreation. The issue with the BLM is how they are managed.’

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), the Utah Rivers Council and the Utah Chapter Sierra Club give the BLM poor marks for protecting the environment and cultural resources from ORV damage.  Read the full ORV Report Card

Liz Thomas with SUWA said, ‘They haven’t taken the necessary steps to protect these resources from the know damages that occur from off-road vehicle use.'”  Read more – KSL.com

Arch Canyon remains an example of poor ORV management

“SUWA’s report card for the BLM’s management of off-roaders gives the agency a ‘D’ in protecting the environment, an ‘F’ in appreciating history and other cultures, but a ‘B’ for improving on the freewheeling access the group says existed before the 2008 travel plans.

SUWA already is suing the government over those plans, which designated about 20,000 miles of travel routes stretching from the Four Corners to Richfield to Flaming Gorge. Some of those dirt trails — about 3,000 miles — are in stream bottoms, archaeological sites or large, roadless areas.

‘Closing less than 15 percent [of the trails] clearly would not preclude off-road vehicle use in southern Utah,’ said Thomas, the SUWA attorney.'”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

But off-roaders say riding responsibly is good enough

“The SUWA report sites the BLM allows off-roading on archaeological sites where vandalism and looting occurs. They also say they did not conduct environmental impact studies as required by law and failed to protect streams, fish and wildlife habitats.

‘Off road vehicle use on public lands is probably the most controversial and damaging uses and it’s growing,’ said Liz Thomas, who is an attorney that works with SUWA.”  Read more – Fox13 News

Other coverage: Associated Press

Read the full ORV Report Card