Closures in Moab area?

14 replies to this topic
  • gratefuldawg

Posted May 28, 2003 - 07:11 AM


What does anyone know about this? From the Denver Post 5/24/03.

Off-road vehicle ban near Moab upheld
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management can close 250,000 acres of public land near Moab to off-road vehicles, including the popular Factory Butte area.

U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins said the BLM has the power to prevent or reduce environmental damage.

Jenkins on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit from the Utah Shared Access Alliance, which said the BLM acted in 2001 without taking public comment or holding hearings.

The alliance challenged BLM restrictions on popular motor trails, off-road travel, bicycling and scattered camping in areas near Moab and Canyonlands National Park. The off-limits areas are Factory Butte, Poison Spider Mesa, Gemini Bridges Trail and other BLM lands in Box Elder, San Juan and Emery counties.

"This ruling makes clear that the federal government can and should take reasonable measures to bring some balance to the landscape by preventing off-road vehicles from tearing apart our public lands," Earthjustice attorney Keith Bauerle said.

The lawsuit at least forced BLM to develop or update travel guidelines that accommodate some off-road travel, said Brian Hawthorne, director of the Utah group.

  • jwriott

Posted May 28, 2003 - 07:29 AM


I sure hope those trails don't get closed down. They are some of my favorite rides. :) :D

  • ddialogue

Posted May 28, 2003 - 08:00 AM


I'm sure glad I was able to ride some of these trails this spring. It was my first time and sounds like it may be the last.

The quote about "off-road vehicles...tearing apart our public lands" just upsets me to no end! I rode with some TTer's from Colorado (Keener and others) and they were some of the most environment-friendly riders I have seen. They stayed on the trails and roads to ensure that the prehistoric, volcanic, plant crap (whatever it is) wasn't disturbed.


  • krice

Posted May 28, 2003 - 08:36 AM


These nazis should be held down, face about 6" from my rear tire, and EAT a little EARTHJUSTICE!

Wonder how many of them go out and hammer climbing anchors into the rocks out there while bitching about bikes?

  • EM_rider

Posted May 28, 2003 - 08:47 AM


They need our $$$ to beat back these enviros.....

  • BrandonW

Posted May 28, 2003 - 09:12 AM


You gotta hold ShareTheTrails accountable. Give them all your money that you want, but if we (motorcyclists) don't get involved with comment periods, attend public meetings, and STAND UP and VOICE OUR CONCERNS, those who do attend the meetings will get thier ends met.

When I re-up with the BlueRibbonCoalition, I am going to do so under the name of They will get my $40 that way, and I hope others do the same.

BUT, I WILL HOLD BLUERIBBONCOALITION accountable. If I don't get notice of public hearings or am told of these processes happening, then I am going to ask BRC where my money is going. It is one thing to like them because the "are on our side", but if they are not being as active as the Sierra Club, EarthFIRST!, and other clubs, what good are they?

I support them, but instead of bashing those with other political agendas than mine, I look at holding my lobbying group accountable.

If every TT made thier contribution to the BRC in TT's name, and then we as a group held them accountable (not much gets past this group unnoticed) for what we are donating them money for, do you think we would get better results?

I say this because it is very common for people to pop up and say that they are locally experiencing a land-closure, and more often than not, they had no idea that a public process is even taking place.

I want notice, I want to participate, and I think that it is the BRC's duty to let contributors know when a public process is taking place in my neck of the woods.

I think BRC gets a free pass because they are on our side and I think they need to be held a litte more accountable.


  • SMD

Posted May 28, 2003 - 10:05 AM


What EMRider said folks. We need to fight fire with fire and support groups like BRC. This sort of thing is only going to get worse.The greens don't recognize the word compromise.So we can bitch and complain and name call and make all sorts of threats and the closings will keep coming.
I challenge all Blue guys to put your money where your mouth is. Can you imagine if everyone on TT would just send in the minimum 20 bucks a year?
Sorry please don't take my rant personally.......just get involved(send the dough)
Peace out :)

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  • gratefuldawg

Posted May 28, 2003 - 10:39 AM


Is there anyway TT could help facilitate a little "fundraiser"? I would send in 20 in the name of TT.

  • jwriott

Posted May 28, 2003 - 10:45 AM


I've posted this issue before but I still think TT needs a section with companies that support our sport/hobby. Joining clubs and paying dues that are used to defend our riding areas is a great idea.

However, it's counter productive if you turn around and buy products from companies like REI for example, that fund the opposition (Sierra Club). You are basically putting funds into the organizations that are closing our trails through these companies donations. :)

TT is a very large group and can make a difference if everyone is on the same page. :D

  • Scaryfast

Posted May 28, 2003 - 12:02 PM


It is Brian Hawthorne, of The Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-All), that filed the lawsuit against the BLM. The good guys ARE trying to fight back. Indeed, our support is needed in joining these groups who fight for our recreational access.
As far as trail closures, there are many signs in the Factory Butte area (outside Hanksville, Utah) stating "conditional use, stay on existing trails, abuse and lose access" type stuff. The only "open play area" is now east of the Blue Hills Road off the Factory Bench. USA-All took BLM to court saying that their actions were unfair as no public comment was taken or hearings held. However, the result was not the best.
In Moab, all the primitive camping is gone. The camping sites are being limited and reduced by the BLM and all will be fee areas. The trails listed in the article are open but are restricted to the existing roads and trails.
Join a group! Support our sport! Give them some money. Protect our public lands.
I agree with, vmaxcbr900wr426, let's support those companies that support our sport. Thanks!

  • tigerowner_ut

Posted May 29, 2003 - 04:41 AM



If you want to save your trails we need to take an active role talking with the recreation staff in our public lands (USFS, BLM, state lands...), report the bastards playing "make your own trail" and "Lets ride the ATV on the singletrack", and join AMA, Blueribbon... If you see a public meeting let your group know, if you belong to Blueribbon you are Blueribbon so don't blame them blame yourself. Lets take a stake in the management of our lands. I am on both sides of the issue as part of a land management team and an off-road motorcyclist since 1982. I suggest if you see anyone damaging our trails and lands, even if it is not OHV related, take pictures of the offense, write down OHV sticker #s and report these people. Disposable cameras are cheap and light (and you can get in some good riding pics). If we take the role of the enforser we turn in to good guys and are not labled by the ignorant ruining it for all of us. The Manti-La al NF just started a program called the Good Will Riders. These volunteers are enforcing the rules and calling law enfocement when needed. We all should take their lead and save our trails.

  • Dougie

Posted May 29, 2003 - 09:49 AM


I was just out there this past weekend. There was no talk from anyone about Moab closing down. Not sure why or how they could. It would ruin that town economically. Closing Poison Spider would suck. I love that trail (Poison Spider, Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim and Rusty Nail), it is the best one out there as far as I'm concerned.

  • mikeolichney

Posted May 29, 2003 - 11:47 AM


I second that. If they close Golden Spike I will only go there once a year instead of 2-3X. There arent many mtbike or hikers on that anyway, what is the deal?

  • Moab450

Posted June 02, 2003 - 05:06 PM


I hate to say it but you could see it coming. Most of the people who ride the trails in and around Moab are responsible, but it is that small few who are ruining it for everyone. I manage an outdoor business in Moab and guide people into the backcountry on a daily basis. I am on the Hell's Revenge trail about 8 times a week and I notice where people have gone off the trail and literally destroyed some very pristine things in the name of what, I am not quite sure. I watch people on 4 wheelers, jeeps, mountain bikers, and even motorcycles rallying through the desert where they don't belong. We should be taking photographs of these people that are destroying the land but I am afraid the BLM is just going to take those pictures and use them as evidence of why it needs to be closed. The BLM is also out there taking pictures of thier own.

People are literally camping anywhere and everywhere which I am not oposed to, but 99% of the people who came in these areas do not bring a garbage sack, let alone a portable toilet, and so you are left with the little brown piles of crap and toilet paper hanging from every bush around a makeshift campsite and a bunch of trash. People need to grow up and be responsible for their actions. And it is not just the tourist some of the locals are just as bad. I support the BRC, but all the support and money in the world is not going to waive the destruction of a few knuckle heads that have no respect for the enviroment. I could go on for pages about this but I won't it is just really frustrating to love motorcyles and 4 wheeling and I love this area that I call home, and everytime I go out I see Indian writings that I have been destroyed by Bubbas, which we call bubbaglyphs.

Now that I am off my soap box I have not heard of any trail closures in this area. I was out at Factory Butte a few weeks ago and I did not notice anything new as far as signs and such. Nothing new is posted on Hell's Revenge. Next time I am up there I will Post some pictures so you all can see what is going on in the backcountry.
I don't know if anyone saw Dave Dialogues streaming video of his trip to Moab but if you did the part where he is going up the slickrock jump (he does it a few times) but some of those trees in the background of the video are now gone they have been knocked over by someone in a 4x4. No need for that to be happening.
I think we all need to do our part and educate those that need a little education or these trails are going to be nothing but a memory.

  • pedman

Posted June 02, 2003 - 05:40 PM



Thanks for your comments. I agree that we need to take an active stand. It would be good if TT had an area that was specific to land closures.

Sounds like you have good visibility in the Moab area, please continue to update us if you hear anything regarding closures or restrictions. I would personally attend meetings where possible or send in comments.

I asked a BLM office to add me to their email list last year and surprise I have not heard a thing. I will be back to bug them again.

Let's just keep our eyes and ears open :)


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