It is time to act! If you have been to Moab, Utah, you know and realize how precious this off-road treasure really is. If you have never had the wonderful opportunity to experience Moab, I plead with you to consider what is at stake and what you would be missing out on. This is an alert to a new and very significant proposed off-road recreational trail system closure. There are only days to voice your concerns and officially submit a comment.
The time for public comment was extended. We have until Friday, October 21st for all recreation users to tell the BLM to keep this Labyrinth Rim/Gemini Bridges area open!
The Labyrinth Rims / Gemini Bridges travel management area covers 303,993 acres in Grand Country and has 1,232 miles of inventoried routes on BLM-managed lands. 437 miles of trails are under review for full-time motorized vehicle closure.
What Exactly Is Happening?
The Labyrinth Rims / Gemini Bridges travel management process being conducted by the BLM’s Moab Field Office (expected to be completed by 2024) threatens many trails in the Moab area. 437 miles of amazing, stunning, and one-of-a-kind trails are at stake. A new travel plan is being created for this area due to a lawsuit settlement with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), which seeks to close as many trails as possible so that the land west of Moab can be managed as Wilderness. The Grand County Commission and Moab city government are also calling for the BLM to close numerous popular 4×4 trails based on false allegations of “user conflicts” to convert them to hiking and mountain bike trails.
The BLM published the Draft Environmental Assessment on September 7, 2022, and is accepting public comments on the various alternatives until October 21, 2022, at the BLM website.
This is what we are up against folks!
Moab Trail Closures in Danger And Under Threat?
Many extremely popular 4×4 trails (including most of the Jeep Safari trails northwest of Moab) are at risk of closure, including Hey Joe Canyon, Ten Mile Canyon, Hell Roaring Canyon, Mineral Canyon, Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Rusty Nail, Day Canyon Point, Dead Man Point, Hell Roaring Rim, Dry Fork Bull Canyon, Four Arches Canyon, the 7-Up trail, the 3D and Mashed Potatoes Jeep trails, the Dead Cow and Tubes motorcycle trails, and parts of Where Eagles Dare, Buttes and Towers, Wipe-Out Hill, and Sevenmile Mile Rim. These trails under threat are literally some of the most popular in all of America. This would be a devastating loss for the off-road industry.
What Can You Do To Help Stop Moab Trail Closures?
Please comment, opposing these closures and asking the BLM to keep all of these trails open to motorized use. More information can be found on the Blue Ribbon Coalition’s Website. You can submit a comment either through Blue Ribbon’s action alert or write your own comment directly to the BLM. The deadline for comments is October 7, 2022. A map of the route designations for each alternative is available here.
What Is At Stake And What Do you Have To Lose?
These are public lands. We are the rightful owners of this land. The land and the trails rightfully belong to all of us as citizens. The federal employees assigned to manage the land work for the favor of its citizens. Government for the people and by the people.
Once it is gone, it is typically closed forever.
What Have We Learned From Past Experience?
In 2008, the BLM had already conducted an Environmental Impact Analysis in this exact same area. So what happened and what was the result after that study was concluded? Of the 2,000 miles of trails in the inventory, over 800 miles of trails were closed! That is about a 40 percent reduction in this same project area that is now under threat again!
So what is the point? Why are they being forced to do it again? Well, after the 2008 study and the closure of nearly half the trails, the BLM was sued by several groups of professional litigious environmental radicals. The BLM settled with the groups to continue the travel management studies and once again we are facing significant trail closures by over half of the routes inventoried.
The taxpayers lose. Outdoor recreational enthusiasts lose. Off-road families lose. Physically disabled loose.
Simply put, we cannot accept any closures at all. It will never be enough for these radical environmental extremists. They are the professional sue-happy lawyers that make a wealthy living by suing the federal government. They will never be satisfied until all citizens are confined to “stack em and pack em” metropolitan cities where we all live on top of each other. Look up 30 x 30 if you think it sounds too crazy to ever happen.
It Does No End There
Not only are mileage of routes being decreased but restrictions on dispersed camping are also being proposed. In a separate planning process, BLM is developing a dispersed camping plan for this area. If they choose to close 437 miles of roads, this will certainly cascade into additional restrictions on camping in this separate process.
It is not just off-roaders who will suffer. All outdoor enthusiast will loose! Hikers, thrill seeking base jumpers and climbers, photographers, and scenic vehicle bound sightseers. 3 known routes to popular hiking trails, 21 known routes used for photography, 4 routes to known base jumps, and 404 routes used for scenic driving are at risk to be shut down.