BLM restricts motorized recreational use in Recapture Canyon
Citing impacts to cultural resources, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Monticello Field Office (MFO) will close 1,871 acres of public lands in Recapture Canyon, near the city of Blanding, Utah, to motorized recreational use, including Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use.
The area is currently designated as “open” to cross-country travel under a land use plan decision from 1991. Emergency and law enforcement personnel, permittees and other administrative uses are exempt from the travel restriction.
When the previous Resource Management Plan (RMP) was implemented in 1991, route proliferation was not a problem, but today it is. Impacts from OHVs to cultural sites located in the canyon have become a serious concern warranting a closure order.
The closure is being enacted under 43 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) 8341.2, which allows field offices to implement closures when an area is being adversely impacted as a result of OHV use.
The closure will be effective September 13, 2007, and will remain in effect until the Monticello Field Office determines that the adverse effects leading to the closure have been eliminated and measures have been implemented to prevent recurrence. Areas outside of the closure area will remain open to motorized use. Maps showing the closure area and routes open to OHV use are posted at the closure area, as well as at public offices in Blanding and Monticello.
An open house meeting to explain the details of the closure, and to answer related questions, is scheduled for September 18, 2007, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the College of Eastern Utah Arts and Events Center in Blanding. The public is invited to attend and learn more about the closure.