View Full Version : Good news! Kanab UT

07-22-2008, 08:04 AM
Remember when you sent in comments on the Kanab draft Resource Management Plan (DRMP) and draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)?

If you think it all does not matter, think again.

Even the Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) allow OHV routes through them in some cases. That means we get to enjoy pristine backcountry too, and wilderness characteristics do not mean we automatically get shut out - even though it has not gone through Wilderness designation in Congress ('Wilderness Lite'). These areas do not qualify as Wilderness because there have been roads through them for a very long time. The SUWA strategy is to close those roads, and then oh my, it's Wilderness after all. Pardon my cynicism.

And for once, the lack of resources in the BLM actually worked in our favor - as opposed to most areas lately, where if they cannot fund maintenance or staff surveys of routes on the ground... they close them.

You can bet The Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Bluewater Network, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and many others will pull out the STOPS to get their members to scream about this. Then come the lawyers and the lawsuits.

If they did not participate in the comment period, they do not get to protest, however.

Read about the plan here:

The point in the process where we are today:

07-22-2008, 08:15 AM
Right on! But yeah, you're right about the lawsuits and all that.

"The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday released a two-volume proposed land-use plan for 550,000 acres of public land in Kane and Garfield counties that lets stand all but 25 miles of off-highway vehicle trail mapped in a preliminary study.

"It's just kind of overkill," said Liz Thomas, an attorney for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance."

"The organizations were pleased when the Kanab field office, under a court order, evaluated nearly 133,000 acres and found that 89,780 acres were beautiful and remote enough to be considered for wilderness study.

"The final Environmental Impact Statement shows the BLM would manage about 27,000 acres for wilderness character. But the fine print says the BLM would still allow OHV travel across those acres, likely making them ineligible for future wilderness designation.

"In October, a Kanab BLM outdoor recreation planner said the field office, lacking staff to develop a coherent OHV travel plan, just mapped what trails already were on the ground, including redundant routes.

"Tom Christensen said the Kanab field office would depend on the public during a 90-day comment period to help refine the travel plan.

"The EIS now includes a map that includes 1,478 miles of the original 1,505 miles of OHV trails proposed in the agency's preferred alternative, according to the final study. However, the draft originally proposed 1,462 miles of OHV trail - so the new proposal actually represents an increase in OHV trail-miles."

07-22-2008, 08:22 AM
Thats great. Thanks for the update!