BLM urges halt to illegal recapture canyon ATV ride

Published on May 02, 2014 at 12:51PM

Credit: The Salt Lake Tribune

The federal Bureau of Land Management has put a San Juan County commissioner on notice that his planned May 10 ATV ride into a southern Utah canyon closed to motorized use would violate federal law, exposing him and his fellow riders to criminal or civil sanctions. But it is willing to join him on a pre-ride tour to identify sensitive sites to avoid — if he affirms in writing that the gesture won’t be construed as BLM consent for the ride. Phil Lyman, a Blanding accountant and conservative Republican, is organizing the ride into Recapture Canyon to champion local jurisdiction over Utah’s public lands. County officials have long sought a right of way for ATV trails into the canyon just east of Blanding, and the BLM has been weighing their petition for more than seven years. The agency closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to protect its American Indian ruins and other archaeological resources after an illegally constructed trail was discovered there.