Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

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Dear Friend,

Ruin in Recapture Wash
An archaeological site in Recapture Canyon. 
© Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

The BLM’s Monticello field office is requesting comments on a proposal for a new network of off-road vehicle trails in Recapture Canyon.  This proposed route network includes the illegal route that was constructed in Recapture Canyon in 2005.

Please tell the BLM to maintain the existing closure order to protect cultural and natural resources.

After the illegal trail was constructed, the BLM conducted a cultural resource survey along the unauthorized trail and identified nearly 300 cultural sites in or near the trail.  The agency eventually issued an official closure order to protect the cultural resources that were at risk of being damaged by use of the unauthorized trail.  The BLM’s closure order states specifically that off-road vehicle use in the area is causing, or will cause, considerable adverse effects to cultural resources.  

The Hopi Tribe has requested that the BLM continue the closure and prohibit off-road vehicles in the canyon due to the sensitive nature of the cultural resources found there.  In addition, the Salt Lake Tribune has editorialized against rewarding the illegal trail construction by approving the right-or way, and in favor of maintaining the closure to protect the archaeological treasures.

Yet San Juan County continues to pressure the agency to grant a right-of-way to the county for the illegal trail and several other new trails on the rim of the canyon.

There is no shortage of off-road vehicle trails in San Juan County, where enthusiasts can enjoy over 4,000 miles of trails on public lands.  The BLM has a duty to protect Recapture Canyon’s stream, wildlife habitat, and the ancient Ancestral Puebloan sites.  By granting an off-road vehicle right-of way to the county, the BLM will put these unique and nationally-significant resources at risk of damage and destruction.

Please click here to send a letter to the BLM requesting that it deny the county’s right-of-way request for the proposed off-road vehicle trails in and near Recapture Canyon. 

Thank you,

Liz Thomas
Liz
Field Attorney
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance



425 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111 | 801-486-3161 |
www.suwa.org


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