BLM closing around 1/3rd of the trail miles near Moab

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https://cleantechnica.com/2023/09/30/the-bureau-of-land-management-kicks-a-hornets-nest-in-moab/

"There's no other way to say this. This travel plan is the worst defeat motorized recreation has suffered in decades. SUWA won. Moab is lost. Almost every major trail west of Moab is closed, including Day Canyon Point, Hey Joe Canyon, Mashed Potatoes, Ten Mile Canyon, Hell Roaring Canyon, Mineral Canyon, Hidden Canyon, 7-Up, two of the three overlooks on Deadman Point, and many more. Poison Spider, Golden Spike, 7 Mile Rim, 3D, Buttes and Towers, Hell Roaring Rim, and Metal Masher will stay open but that's about it."

“Visitors will finally be able to experience stunning Labyrinth Canyon without the noise, dust, and damage that accompanies motorized recreation,” said Laura Peterson, staff attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “For too long, the BLM has prioritized off-road vehicle use at the expense of Utah’s incredible natural and cultural resources. The Labyrinth Canyon plan represents an important step forward to guide the management of Utah’s public lands and reduce the impacts of off-road vehicle routes in this area.”
 
https://www.blm.gov/press-release/b...th-rims-gemini-bridges-travel-management-plan

BLM Designates Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges Travel Management Plan​

BLM Office:​

Moab Field Office

Region:​

Utah

Media Contact:​

Rachel Wootton
[email protected]
385-235-4364
Sep 28, 2023
MOAB, Utah — Today, the Bureau of Land Management Moab Field Office announced a new travel management plan for public off highway vehicle use, including passenger vehicles. The Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges Travel Management Area consists of approximately 812 miles of travel routes over roughly 300,000 acres of public land in Grand County, Utah. The new plan provides predictability and clarity for users, minimizes user conflicts and damage to natural and cultural resources, meets access needs, increases public safety, and addresses law enforcement issues within the area.
“The BLM appreciates public interest in this project, including input provided during scoping and the public comment period and the questions received at the public meeting in September 2022,” said Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt, Canyon Country District. “We received more than 10,000 comments during the public comment period and incorporated much of the feedback into the plan. Substantive comments resulted in changes to the analysis in the environmental assessment and edits to the baseline information in the route reports and helped inform the BLM’s decision.”
This travel management plan solidifies a route network consisting of a combination of the route designations analyzed in the environmental assessment as alternatives B, C, and D. The BLM sought to minimize impacts to resources and user conflicts by focusing travel on routes where BLM’s data suggests that use is less impactful. Within the Moab Field Office, 96% of the Jeep Safari routes remain available for off highway vehicle use. These routes are generally well used and defined, and due to frequent and long-standing uses, additional impacts to natural and cultural resources, as well as user conflicts, were determined unlikely to occur.
The decision, maps and specific route information are posted on the BLM’s ePlanning website. For more information, please visit BLM Utah’s travel management webpage at www.blm.gov/travel-and-transportation/utah.
 
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I stopped reading after:

"People really are big, big mad about this."
 
I get part of it. Providing for areas where one can hike, mountain bike, etc,. without being terrorized by yahoos in all types of offroad vehicles makes sense. When I'm out doing those types of activities, I'd rather have it quite and not worry about getting run over. It is a question of balance and allowing for both types of activities in the area. Isolating one from the other is one approach.

That said, if you've been going to Moab for some length of time, as I have, you can definitely see the district change in the area which has been caused by the introduction of side by sides.
 
I get part of it. Providing for areas where one can hike, mountain bike, etc,. without being terrorized by yahoos in all types of offroad vehicles makes sense. When I'm out doing those types of activities, I'd rather have it quite and not worry about getting run over. It is a question of balance and allowing for both types of activities in the area. Isolating one from the other is one approach.

That said, if you've been going to Moab for some length of time, as I have, you can definitely see the district change in the area which has been caused by the introduction of side by sides.

Some of these areas will lie vacant without motorized traffic. There will only be a handful of "explorers" in comparison to when the trails were open.
 
Some of these areas will lie vacant without motorized traffic. There will only be a handful of "explorers" in comparison to when the trails were open.

That‘s the other fallacy about closures like this that is often overlooked. This is a huge impact to some disabled folks whose only option to getting out and enjoying the deep back country is via motorized vehicles.
 
That‘s the other fallacy about closures like this that is often overlooked. This is a huge impact to some disabled folks whose only option to getting out and enjoying the deep back country is via motorized vehicles.

Their goal is solely to keep people out.

First they came for the jeeps/utv's....

Then they came for the ebikes...

Then they came for the bikes...

Then they came for the hikers...
 
Came across this while checking on the status of long canyon, still haven't determined if it's being closed. They have now closed those canyons to vehicles are they stopping the climbing and slacklining also?



Mineral and Hell Roaring Canyons are home to one of the oldest bighorn sheep herds in the United States. Golden eagles and spotted owls also make their nests in the tall canyon walls.

But climbers and aerial recreationists are increasingly drawn to the steep red rock cliffs and towers. And that’s threatening the animals’ habitat, which is one of the last remaining enclaves for these species to escape tourists in the Moab area, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

To mitigate the issue, the Bureau announced in June that it was considering closing the two canyons to climbers and aerial recreationists, like base jumpers and slack liners. But it has backed off that plan after receiving feedback from both groups, who opposed the roughly 10,000 acre blanket ban.

“The BLM received calls from climbers and organizations all over the nation,” said Rachel Nelson with Friends of Indian Creek, a climbing advocacy group based in Moab. “It really shocked the climbing community. Nothing like this has been proposed before.”

Friends of Indian Creek sent a letter to the BLM during the scoping period in June, asking the agency to reconsider the blanket ban on their sport, Nelson said. It pointed out the most popular climbing routes in the canyons and highlighted the approaches climbers take to reach them. It also raised questions about the science behind the need for a ban and asked the agency to consider a seasonal ban instead.

“Climbers are quite accustomed to voluntary seasonal closures,” she said. “There’s a culture in climbing to respect wildlife closures.”

Based on that feedback, the Bureau is now proposing a seasonal permit system for the three most popular climbs in the area. Nelson said that’s better than nothing, but she would prefer to not have to deal with the hassle of permits. She added that if the permit system goes forward, it will be the first for climbing in the region—and it will represent a loss of what makes climbing in Moab special.

“It’s very unrestricted and unregulated,” she said. “You leave aside those parts of civilization and get to live freely in nature. That’s really stayed a part of the climbing culture here, even in the face of restrictions on camping.”
View Quote


https://www.kuer.org/public-lands/2...ab-take-climbers-and-slackliners-into-account
 
Came across this while checking on the status of long canyon, still haven't determined if it's being closed. They have now closed those canyons to vehicles are they stopping the climbing and slacklining also?



Mineral and Hell Roaring Canyons are home to one of the oldest bighorn sheep herds in the United States. Golden eagles and spotted owls also make their nests in the tall canyon walls.

But climbers and aerial recreationists are increasingly drawn to the steep red rock cliffs and towers. And that’s threatening the animals’ habitat, which is one of the last remaining enclaves for these species to escape tourists in the Moab area, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

To mitigate the issue, the Bureau announced in June that it was considering closing the two canyons to climbers and aerial recreationists, like base jumpers and slack liners. But it has backed off that plan after receiving feedback from both groups, who opposed the roughly 10,000 acre blanket ban.

“The BLM received calls from climbers and organizations all over the nation,” said Rachel Nelson with Friends of Indian Creek, a climbing advocacy group based in Moab. “It really shocked the climbing community. Nothing like this has been proposed before.”

Friends of Indian Creek sent a letter to the BLM during the scoping period in June, asking the agency to reconsider the blanket ban on their sport, Nelson said. It pointed out the most popular climbing routes in the canyons and highlighted the approaches climbers take to reach them. It also raised questions about the science behind the need for a ban and asked the agency to consider a seasonal ban instead.

“Climbers are quite accustomed to voluntary seasonal closures,” she said. “There’s a culture in climbing to respect wildlife closures.”

Based on that feedback, the Bureau is now proposing a seasonal permit system for the three most popular climbs in the area. Nelson said that’s better than nothing, but she would prefer to not have to deal with the hassle of permits. She added that if the permit system goes forward, it will be the first for climbing in the region—and it will represent a loss of what makes climbing in Moab special.

“It’s very unrestricted and unregulated,” she said. “You leave aside those parts of civilization and get to live freely in nature. That’s really stayed a part of the climbing culture here, even in the face of restrictions on camping.”
View Quote


https://www.kuer.org/public-lands/2...ab-take-climbers-and-slackliners-into-account

That sparked an idea for a better option than closing the OHV trails. Go completely over to a permit system, for every trail in Moab.

First question on the permit application: “Will you be operating a side by side?”

“Yes.”

”NO PERMIT FOR YOU!”

🙂
 
That sparked an idea for a better option than closing the OHV trails. Go completely over to a permit system, for every trail in Moab.

First question on the permit application: “Will you be operating a side by side?”

“Yes.”

”NO PERMIT FOR YOU!”

🙂

1696342913582.png
 
That sparked an idea for a better option than closing the OHV trails. Go completely over to a permit system, for every trail in Moab.

First question on the permit application: “Will you be operating a side by side?”

“Yes.”

”NO PERMIT FOR YOU!”

🙂

The same thing is happening up here in the PNW with SXS's as far as them running rough shod over areas with no respect for trails & rules. And just like the Jeep crowd 20 years ago it's only the 1% who are doing this shit but that is all it takes.
 
It makes more sense to close it to everyone than just a few. Otherwise, they're going to be rescuing more people who aren't in good shape, don't realize it's a desert, and brought a 12 oz bottle of water on the hike.

I went to Bryce Canyon with my big hat and 5 liters of water, 3 were frozen, a first aide kit, walking sticks, food, etc in my pack. The people we came with had shorts and a water bottle. It was 106 F when we got back.

My guess is eventually the permits will go to the local companies who do tours and you can ride on their off-road busses for $200/person a trail.