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San Rafael Swell Management Plan Comments Needed (UT)

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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Uzbekistan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:05 pm    Post subject: San Rafael Swell Management Plan Comments Needed (UT) Reply with quote


Dear BRC ACTION ALERT subscriber,

We've got a very important update for you regarding a new Resource Management Plan in the scenic recreational destination known as the San Rafael Swell in Utah. The Utah Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Price Field Office released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Resource Management Plan (DRMP) containing some of the most restrictive recreation management outside a National Park.

The draft plan includes severe group size limits, strict limits on dispersed camping, mandatory use fees under certain conditions and thousands of miles of road and trail closures.

Our Utah partners, the Utah Shared Access Alliance, as well as the United Four Wheel Drive Associations believe this new plan could represent a very dangerous trend. They join me in asking for your special attention to this important planning process.

It took a bit of time to get BRC's review of the draft plan completed. I don't know if it was by design, but this DRMP/DEIS was almost impossible to understand. BRC's review of the draft plan and its impacts to recreation is available on our website.

I joked in the last issue of the BRC Magazine that we had a hard time understanding the document because our special BLM RMP Secret Decoder Ring didn't come in the mail yet.

Many of you who tried to plod through the phone-book-size tome probably aren't laughing right now.

Mike Swenson, USA-ALL's new Executive Director and I met with Price BLM's Planning Team Coordinator earlier this week. Mike and I had a few questions regarding Price BLM's interpretation of National OHV Policy, Utah State OHV Guidance, BLM's interpretation of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum, and many more specific questions regarding the Preferred Alternative. Although the BLMer was very generous with his time and did his best to honestly answer our questions, he wasn't able to give us many specific answers.

BRC, United and USA-ALL will be working together oppose arbitrary restrictions on recreational access to public lands. With your help, we can be successful.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Director
BlueRibbon Coalition

While the plan at issue is located in Central Utah, the radical restrictions proposed in this draft plan may set a precedent and have profound affects to ALL recreationists who visit BLM lands.

The BLM is updating RMP's all over the West, including popular OHV destinations in Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, California, and Nevada. BLM field offices are watching this draft plan very closely. If not opposed successfully, it may well set a precedent for other areas undergoing planning. It is vitally important that all recreationists, and especially the OHV community, speak out against these radical restrictions.

BRC's review of the draft plan and its impacts to recreation is available on our website.

The restrictions outlined in the plan are extreme. The misstatements, omissions and errors in the OHV management section are offensive to any fair minded vehicle enthusiast. Prepare to be outraged!

On the other hand, for those who enjoy getting a bit riled up and seeing just how far the bureaucrats want to go in limiting American's access to public lands, we recommend a quick read of the Summary, but then scrolling immediately to page 6.

A simple email form letter will NOT be effective against these new restrictive policies. BRC is encouraging all of our ACTION ALERT subscribers to contact the BLM via email as soon as possible. BRC has made it as easy as possible. Please read our analysis and see our comment suggestions below.

Comments on the DRMP/DEIS will be accepted through November 29, 2004. Written comments should be sent to: Price Field Office RMP Comments, Attention: Floyd Johnson, 125 S. 600 W., Price, Utah, 84501. Comments may be sent via email to:
Floyd Johnson at:


As always, a short paragraph about yourself, your club and how much you enjoy vehicle access to public lands is a good way to begin.

BLM states the San Rafael Route Designation Plan will be incorporated into the new management plan, but does not tell the public that other management "layers" will make significant road and trail closures.
The BLM must accurately disclose all changes that each alternative may make to the San Rafael Route Designation Plan.

BLM is proposing severe group size limits. Group size limits puts clubs, large families and the American Public under unfair and arbitrary restrictions. According to analysis conducted in the SRRDP, OHV use under current use levels causes no significant impacts.
There is no justification for the kind of group size limits proposed in any of the alternatives. The BLM should stick with the proven 50 vehicle limit and not impose National Park style management on public lands.

BLM states the Chimney Rock/Summerville Trail system will be designated open, but does not include this popular OHV trail system on the Preferred Alternative OHV Route Designation Map.
Tell the BLM that you will not tolerate this kind of deception. The OHV community deserves to be treated with respect. Tell the BLM that their maps must be updated to accurately portray the OHV designations outlined in each alternative.

BLM indicates many miles of roads and trails will be open for OHV use via the Preferred Alternative OHV Designation Map. Sadly, most of the 'green lines' on Map 2-56 are actually closed to unlicensed OHV use.
Ask the BLM how many miles of OHV routes on Map 2-56 are currently ILLEGAL for unlicensed OHV use?

BLM has proposed many overlapping management "layers" in the San Rafael Swell. Each layer brings with it discrete management restrictions, yet, are not drawn along any recognizable geographic boundary making compliance virtually impossible.
BLM needs to know that the recreating public will not tolerate overly restrictive and impossible to understand restrictions on camping and vehicle recreation. Tell the BLM you oppose all the management "layers" outlined in the draft plan.

Popular OHV Trail Systems must remain open
Tell the BLM that all of the Chimney Rock/Summerville and Humbug trail systems should be left open. Ask them to designate links to the Arapeen Trail System. Tell them to keep all existing roads and trails open for vehicle use.
Nothing to see here.
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