Press Release Mar 1, 2018

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Off-road Vehicle Plan Ignores Threats to Park Resources

The National Park Service’s proposed special regulations for off-road vehicle management at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area misses the mark, ignores park impacts.

SALT LAKE CITY – The National Park Service’s proposed special regulations for off-road vehicle management at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area misses the mark, according to National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). The Park Service’s proposed rule ignores broad and significant impacts on the park site’s environment, including on its vegetation, wildlife, and soundscapes, concerns that have been raised by NPCA and others.

Over the last decade of this management planning process, NPCA has urged the National Park Service to prohibit ATV use on designated park roads to maintain the remote, wilderness quality of the Glen Canyon backcountry, protect the park’s important cultural and natural resources and ensure visitor safety. NPCA has also continually advocated for National Park Service action to prevent illegal off-road vehicle use and reduce environmental impacts through appropriate planning, visitor education, outreach and enforcement.

Statement by Erika Pollard, Utah Senior Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association

“While a Department of Interior official described this plan as ‘prioritizing conservation,’ the final proposal strongly suggests the opposite. Disturbingly, this proposed off-road vehicle rule ignores the concerns raised over the years, by opening a portion of the Orange Cliffs backcountry region of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to ATV use. Bordered by Canyonlands National Park, the Park Service describes the Orange Cliffs as one of the most scenic areas of the Colorado Plateau region. Why would we put this special place at risk?

“These lands in Orange Cliffs weren’t even on the table for considered ATV use when the rule-making process began, and we are very concerned that the Park Service will be unable to prevent illegal, damaging use in this remote region. We are equally worried about impairment to the backcountry recreation areas and the adjacent Canyonlands National Park.

“This final rule also begs the question: why would the National Park Service open up these lands to potentially damaging ORV use, when 7,000 miles of public land around the national park are already open to such recreation? This decision by the National Park Service to allow ORV use in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is simply unreasonable and unnecessary.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.