An ATV protest last month has prompted a new, non-binding resolution from the San Juan County Commission. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says it's still investigating crimes associated with the ride on a trail through Recapture Canyon that is closed to motorized vehicles.
Dozens of all-terrain-vehicle riders drove into San Juan County’s Recapture Canyon a month ago. Federal authorities say that ride into off-limits territory was illegal, but they haven’t filed any charges yet.
Now, the San Juan County Commission is asserting authority over the scenic trail in a non-binding resolution. Recapture is filled with ancient burial sites and antiquities, and county leaders say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is taking too long to decide how to safeguard them.
Federal investigators are continuing their probe into a protest ride Saturday through Recapture Canyon. And that includes sizing up the impact that the all-terrain vehicles might have had on the canyon's archaeological sites.
Some people regard Recapture Canyon as a mini-Mesa Verde National Park. Both contain prehistoric ruins, religious kivas and ancient burial grounds that make them world famous. But over the weekend more than 60 protestors drove ATVs into those sensitive areas.
ATV riders ready to drive onto a trail that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management closed to motorized vehicles to protect its archaeological resources. Local law enforcement were on hand to keep the peace, but not to uphold the federal law. Meanwhile, the BLM says it is investigating.
A protest in Utah’s San Juan County ended without violence on Saturday. But the conflict between a federal government agency and its critics is expected to continue.
San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman organized the ride into Recapture Canyon, where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management banned motorized vehicles 7 years ago. Lyman urged protesters at a morning rally on Saturday to steer clear of the closed areas because of the risk to the archaeology and to their reputations.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has published a draft environmental assessment on its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Gunnison Sage Grouse in Utah and Colorado. The Gunnison grouse is a smaller and rarer cousin of the greater sage grouse that lives in most of the states of the Mountain West.