View Full Version : Arch Canyon threatened (Cruise Moab overnight run)

03-27-2007, 09:33 PM
Suwa (http://www.suwa.org/) is engaged in a campaign to send letters to the BLM Monticello Field Office to stop vehicle travel in Arch Canyon, this looks to be in response to the BLM considering a multi year special recreation permit for events in the Canyon.

I think we need to start our own campaign to counteract this. We need to remind the BLM that these are public lands, the road is a county RS2477 ROW and these are NOT indian lands and tribal members should not have more say over what goes on with these lands than local United States citizens do. We are tired of SUWA and other extreme special interest groups trying to deprive the citizens of this country of the use of THEIR public lands.

BLM Monticello Field Office
435 N. Main St.
P.O. Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

Please be courteous in any letters to the BLM. Remember that they are trying to do their job and they have to put up with SUWA and all their crap just like we do.

03-27-2007, 09:37 PM
Here is Suwa's very slanted take on the Arch Canyon deal. You can see that they are on the radical edge.
Link (http://www.suwa.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5995&news_iv_ctrl=1162) (reposted below)

BLM Ignores Request by Native Americans, Local Residents, Historic Preservationists, and Conservationists to Protect Arch Canyon's Cultural Resources

Agency moves towards approving off-road vehicle events in controversial canyon

MOAB, UT (March 15, 2007): After receiving a formal Petition to Preserve Arch Canyon’s Natural and Cultural Resources from a broad coalition of conservationists, Navajo Tribal leaders, and local business owners, and supported by independent scientific fieldwork and research, the Bureau of Land Management is taking steps in the opposite direction. Instead of making a decision on the petition, the BLM has begun work on the environmental studies necessary for the issuance of multiple 5-year permits allowing destructive ORV events in this remote, scenic canyon.

In response, the Navajo Utah Commission submitted a formal letter to the BLM further explaining the cultural significance of the canyon and urging the federal agency to prohibit motorized vehicle use in Arch Canyon:

The Utah Navajo Commission recognizes the Bear’s Ears, Abajo Mountains and surrounding canyons, including Arch Canyon, as aboriginal land that is significant to Navajo culture. This area was the homeland of Chief Manuelito and his brother, Nabiih Kaa yi lii, and their descendants who are members of the Bitahnii clan. In addition, this area contains plants that are very important for Navajo traditional ceremonial uses, and that depend on a healthy ecosystem and riparian system for their continued existence. Continued off-road vehicle use in this area jeopardizes the health and continued existence of these plants and degrades the ancestral homeland of Chief Manuelito.

Mark Maryboy, former Navajo Tribal Councilman and San Juan County Commissioner, concurs. “Preservation of these lands is important to our culture and spiritual values. We urge the BLM to recognize our cultural, traditional and ceremonial interests in this special place.”

The Hopi Tribe has also requested that BLM institute an “immediate interim closure” of Arch Canyon and an adjacent ORV route due to the cultural resource concerns raised in the Arch Canyon Petition.

Cultural and Natural Values Weigh in Favor of Protection from ORVs
Arch Canyon, a scenic steep-walled canyon in southeastern Utah, is rich in archaeological sites. A professional archaeologist who studied the canyon in connection with the groups’ petition to protect the area concluded that ORV use harms the centuries-old structures and other sites that make Arch Canyon an important area for scientific study of Ancestral Puebloan agricultural practices.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation notes that there is estimated to be over 100 undocumented sites in the canyon that ORV use puts at risk. “These sites could include human burials, ceremonial structures, residential and storage structures, and rock art panels. BLM must complete a comprehensive archaeological survey of the canyon to gather adequate information rather than making a decision blindly,” notes Barbara Pahl, Director, Mountain/Plains office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Arch Canyon’s winding stream supports three native fish species, including one sensitive fish species. Arch Canyon has recently become a target of intense ORV use. The machines traveling up this canyon cross the stream 60 times in the short eight and one-half mile trip from the mouth of the canyon to the U.S. Forest Service boundary where the canyon is closed to ORV use, totaling 120 stream crossings for each round trip. Not surprisingly, this intense use damages and pollutes the stream and harms the fish habitat.

“Certainly concerns of Native Americans about the impacts of ORVs to their ancestral homeland outweigh any purported “recreational” need to allow ORVs to run up and down this canyon causing damage,” says the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance’s Liz Thomas. Thomas adds “there are thousands of miles of ORV routes in southern Utah located in less sensitive areas where ORV use may be appropriate. But some special places should be protected.”

Arch Canyon has been the site of previous, controversial ORV events. In 2004, Lynn Stevens, a San Juan County Commissioner, and Governor Huntsman’s Coordinator of the Public Lands Coordinating Office, defied the BLM and led the Jeep Jamboree ORV event up Arch Canyon, after BLM had denied the organizers’ permit application. “It appears that BLM is now bowing to political pressure,” says Veronica Egan, Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

According to Vaughn Hadenfeldt, member of the local Canyon Country Heritage Association in Bluff, Utah, “BLM is not doing its job to manage ORV use on our public lands in southeastern Utah, and such use is out of control. BLM is rewarding rogue behavior by legitimizing illegally constructed routes through cultural sites. The Monticello BLM is effectively giving up lands to motorized use, rather than balancing ORV use with the need to preserve habitat, archaeological sites, and traditional use areas. There is no need to allow ORV events in Arch Canyon.”

For background sources, see: www.suwa.org/archpetition (http://www.suwa.org/archpetition)

03-28-2007, 08:19 AM
So many distortions, where to start?

Anyone who feels we are being paranoid is living in a river in Egypt. The sad thing is, we, too, are conservationists. Just not 'pure' enough to qualify in SUWA's eyes.

It does make me want to go there to see this stuff though!!! Without "ORV"s, however, I never would.

03-28-2007, 03:40 PM
Here's my letter to the BLM. You can e-mail them! Lots easier than using snail mail.

To: 'sandra_meyers@blm.gov'; 'brian_quigley@blm.gov'
Subject: Keep Arch Canyon open, please

Dear Ms. Meyers and Mr. Quigley,

I just returned from a quick weekend trip to Arch Canyon and Hotel Rock. It was fantastic!

We explored Arch Canyon in my 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. I always operate my vehicle using the principles of Tread Lightly, staying on the trail and going slowly. The impact of the area is minimal. Arch Canyon is a wonderful area, and the road is clearly defined.

No cultural sites in the canyon were impacted by my trip along the vehicle route in the bottom of the canyon. We did hike up to see the ruins.

This area should remain open to motorized vehicles. It would not be nearly as accessible if it were only available by hiking. And my understanding is that it's a county road, RS2477 ROW, located on public lands.

I fully support the BLM's plan to issue permits for off-road vehicle events in Arch Canyon.

Thank you for your kind consideration of this matter.

Best regards,

Matthew Farr
(address / phone numbers / e-mail address)

03-28-2007, 07:43 PM
E-Mail sent :thumb: thanks Matt

03-29-2007, 10:41 AM
I also cross-posted to www.advrider.com, a motorcycle forum. Thanks, Matt!

03-29-2007, 01:10 PM
March 29, 2007

To: Ms. Sandra Meyers, Manager and Mr. Brian Quigley
BLM-Monticello Field Office
435 North Main Street
PO Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

RE: OHV use within Arch Canyon, Utah.

I am an Architect by discipline, and also an avid outdoors-person with varied interests including mountain biking, hiking, camping, fly fishing, and rock climbing. I am also an avid dual sport motorcycle and four wheel drive enthusiast, and really enjoy my off highway adventures which usually include two or more of my interests. I routinely follow the principles of Tread Lightly and consider myself a responsible and appreciative user of our public lands.

I recently learned of the Arch Canyon and hope to soon visit it to explore the natural, archaeological and cultural sites within it. As always my trip will hopefully “Leave No Trace”, and will likely result in the site being a little better then I found it, as I typically police and pick up areas such as this for litter and refuse when I visit.

It is my understanding that some lobby groups and wilderness advocates would propose that the canyon be closed and made off limits to OHV users, and I cannot support this narrow minded view.

I am aware that the BLM is working to develop a permit system that will limit the number of large organized groups, both private and commercial, and I do appreciate and support this effort.

I would propose that the county road be left open as it is a public Right of Way, and that it be maintained where and when necessary to prevent unnecessary erosion or other negative environmental impact.

I am also aware of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance’s (SUWA) efforts to petition the BLM to close this canyon and do not support their request. To close off legal public access to public lands is not an appropriate action.

I would propose that SUWA and other organizations work more closely, hand in hand with the BLM and OHV interests to develop a strategy, and implement a plan to provide for continued, sustainable use of our public lands in a mutually beneficial manner to all users. Perhaps if a permit were required of all users, whether OHV or not, the public could be better educated in respectful and responsible use of the lands they wish to visit? I realize that like all government agencies that fiscal budgets are likely too limited for the BLM to implement such a strategy currently, but illegal closure of public lands should not be resorted to as a result.

There are many individuals and resources from the public and private sectors available to the BLM and USFS that need to be tapped for assistance with matters such as this. Myself, I am a member of the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), and am newly a member of the Boulder Ranger District Off Highway Committee working with a varied group of individuals within the BRD of the Arapahoe National Forest here in Colorado. It is a very eye opening experience to see environmental groups and OHV users working together to affect positive change for the betterment of our public lands.

I would strongly encourage the BLM to work with their public to resolve the impact and use of Arch Canyon will all of the above in mind.


David D. Bosley, Architect
5001 Garrison St. #2
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Member: American Motorcycle Association, COHVCO, ADVRider.

03-29-2007, 01:32 PM
Great letter!

03-29-2007, 02:19 PM
Excellent :cool:

03-29-2007, 02:38 PM
Do I bring good folks into this club or WHAT!?!! 4206

Uncle Ben
03-29-2007, 03:27 PM
Do I bring good folks into this club or WHAT!?!! 4206

Wow.....coincidence? :eek: :lmao: :lmao: :hill:

03-29-2007, 04:04 PM
Do I bring good folks into this club or WHAT!?!!

I recognize that picture. Was that one o' mine?

03-30-2007, 08:16 AM
Yeah, I stole all yours. Download 'Em All for Firefox is a beateefull thang.

I had to, um, delete some of them though...:eek:

Rock Dog
04-24-2007, 12:20 AM
a BIG THANKS to all who send in a letter!!
Our BLM rep called and told us that our Permit for Hotel Rock has been approved and signed!
There was an article at the link below about how the Jeep Jamboree encountered some protestors.


We will be on our best behavior in we happen to encounter any protestors, but since it in a middle of the week run, it may be less likely.

04-24-2007, 12:29 AM
a BIG THANKS to all who send in a letter!!
Our BLM rep called and told us that our Permit for Hotel Rock has been approved and signed!
There was an article at the link below about how the Jeep Jamboree encountered some protestors.


We will be on our best behavior in we happen to encounter any protestors, but since it in a middle of the week run, it may be less likely.

I thought some of the comments to be quite funny :rant: Not very PC so to say :D

04-26-2007, 02:56 PM
Expect things to heat up. SUWA's (and others') strategy includes complaining about user conflict due to motorized use.

Even though they initiated same...

04-27-2007, 07:41 AM
One thought in this. Looking at some of the photos, I see people inside the dwellings and and touching the structures. While these photos are nice to see they add fuel to these extreemests fires. While the 'wheeler could agrue that this is the only way to see the site with children and there are no signs saying not to climb in or around the structures. It may be best to keep these types of photos to your self and not post them on public forums.
I like the photos personally, I would love to go and do this trip with my family. Hopefully this trail and the old hotel site will remain open. Later robbie

04-27-2007, 11:01 AM