ORV Activists Organize Illegal Ride Up Paria River 

On May 9th, roughly 300 off-road vehicle (ORV) activists took part in an illegal ride up the Paria River to protest enforcement of the riverbed's closure to motorized vehicles.  The canyon lies within the Paria-Hackberry Wilderness Study Area in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and has been closed to ORV use by the Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since the year 2000.  Unfortunately, the BLM never enforced the ORV restriction, relying instead on voluntary compliance, even though the agency had documented that "motorized vehicle travel and associated impacts were increasing significantly" in the Paria River and side canyons.  As a result, ORV users have been traveling up the riverbed for years, claiming this scenic wilderness as an R.S. 2477 “highway” and 4-wheeler playground.

Counter-demonstrators also showed up at the scene, proclaiming local support for the monument and calling for protection of the river -- which the BLM has found suitable for Wild and Scenic River designation. 

>> Read the 5/7/09 Salt Lake Tribune editorial: Equal Treatment -- Feds must foil OHV lawbreakers

>> Read the 5/10/09 Salt Lake Tribune article: Protesters roar through fed lands 

>> Read the 5/7/09 Salt Lake Tribune article: Road warriors to roar vs. BLM ban

 

Paria River ORV Protest
Protesters drive their ATVs, motorcycles and jeeps
illegally up the Paria River.

BLM Officials at Paria ORV Protest
"Law enforcement" at the Paria ORV protest.

Wilderness Activists at Paria ORV Protest
Locals rally in support of the monument.


Paria Canyon
A peaceful view of the Paria River . . . without ORVs.

 

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