The BLM Arizona Strip Field Office is seeking public comment for a proposed change in rules that will limit dispersed camping to 14 days in the Virgin River Recreation Area.
According to the BLM:
This action is necessary because an increasing number of users of the Virgin River Canyon Recreation Area have established long-term residency under the pretext of recreational camping. Public concern about the effects of this long-term occupancy requires the BLM to address this issue. The proliferation of residential use interferes with legitimate recreational use of public lands and creates other health and safety concerns including hygiene and sanitation issues (i.e., no access to showers or waste dump stations; accumulation of miscellaneous equipment and housewares and the occasional long-term presence of dogs and their associated waste). In addition, this action would reduce damages to natural resources that occur from trash dumping, accumulation or abandonment of equipment or vehicles, loss of vegetation, and contamination of nearby waters.
Upon reviewing the need for this rule change it appears that this management area has a special rule that exempts it from the 14 day camping limit that is typical in other BLM lands that allow open, dispersed camping.
We have been researching this issue to determine what would be the best approach for ensuring that this area remains open to dispersed camping use. If this is an area you enjoy using, you can share your comment by August 16.
Also, with overlanding, boondocking, vanlifing, and dispersed camping exploding in popularity, we want to know what you think about the 14-day camping rules in general. Do you think this is good policy? Do you think there should be areas where people can camp longer? Is 14 days too long? Let us know in the comments below (but be sure to share your feedback with the BLM as well).