Help save Moab’s Trails
Deadline March 31, 2015
From the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC)

The Grand County Council has identified over 100 miles of road closures in its proposed Public Lands Initiative (PLI) plan to be submitted to Representative Rob Bishop. This proposal is scheduled to be voted on by the end of the month, so it is imperative for you to take action today!

Utah’s Grand County, home to Moab’s world class OHV trails, has been participating in Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative, a plan to resolve some of Utah’s most contentious public lands issues, including Wilderness and OHV use.

BRC, our member clubs and other stakeholders, including counties, have been involved in the process from the beginning: Utah Land Use Legislation: Threats and Opportunities, Key Players

After last November’s elections, Grand County’s new Council initiated a process to put finishing touches on its recommendations to Congressman Bishop. OHV users, including Ride with Respect (RwR), Moab Friends-For-Wheelin’ and the Red Rock 4-Wheelers have been participating. For the most part, the process had been proceeding in a reasonable direction.

Sadly, the situation has taken a turn for the worse.

Less than twenty-four hours prior to a public hearing on the matter, the new Council removed measures that would have secured long-term OHV access. Before OHV users had a chance to analyze and assess the proposal, the County officially finished the draft plan for submission to Bishop that would close over 100 miles of roads and trails!

Grand County’s Draft Plan would eliminate the 10 Mile Wash Road and impose seasonal closures on Hey Joe Canyon, Hell Roaring Canyon and the popular Dead Cow Loop.

That’s in addition to thousands of acres of new Wilderness in the Book Cliffs and Dolores River – areas outside of the existing Wilderness Study Areas!

Worse, the County plans to form a committee that would recommend road closures in the Dolores (from Beaver Creek to the south side of Westwater) areas. They expect to close at least half of the non-graded roads.

Obviously, local OHV advocates are disappointed. Not only were some of the proposed closures announced at the last meeting before the Draft was finalized, provisions that allow the remaining routes to be “grandfathered” and protected from future closures were not included in the Draft.

Ride with Respect’s Clif Koontz described it this way:

Effectively, the proposal says that several high-quality trails will be closed now, and any number of the remaining trails could be closed later. While they don’t intend to close the remaining routes now, they provide no protection from future closures.
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