The BLM is accepting public comment for 6 amendments to the Moab, Price, and Vernal Resource Management Plan. These amendments are part of the process to implement the Dingell Act which created 600,000 acres of wilderness in Emery County, cherry-stemmed hundreds of miles of roads, created national monuments, and will set the stage for recreation access in these areas for decades. SUWA is already mounting their fight. Even though this legislation was written to define public land management in Emery County, Grand County leaders are using these planning process to further their agenda of trying to close as many roads as possible in Grand County. We need everyone to submit comments or many areas that people love to ride in Southern Utah will be closed down. We know that trying to keep up with these processes is exhausting, and we believe the process is designed to wear you down to where you give up. We’re tracking all these issues, so you can add your voice to ours and stand strong against these efforts to close our public lands that are coming from all directions.
We have an action alert for the first plan amendment and we will continue to add action alerts so you can be involved in every step of the way. These comments are all due Jan. 7th. Our first focus is the Green River Wild, Scenic, and Recreational River Segments amendmnet. Through this amendment, BLM is using the wild, scenic and recreational river designations in a way that could potentially create wilderness buffer zones. Motorized watercraft also access the river in these areas, and these designations could impact motorized use on the river in addition to justifying motorized routes near the river.
These two maps show our primary concerns. The purple diagonal lines run outside of the blue WSR corridor on the map on the left, and if those areas are designated as scenic segments, it will give BLM justification to close all of the routes highlighted in yellow on the right. These are routes we will be fighting aggressively to keep open in the Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges Travel Management Plan, and we need to make sure our efforts aren’t undermined by Wild and Scenic River Designations: