Press Release Aug 21, 2018

National Park Service greenlights lessened protections in favor of off-road vehicle use in Glen Canyon

Increasing off-road vehicle use threatens park resources and remote solitude

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the National Park Service (NPS) released its record of decision for the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan, allowing increased off-road vehicle use on NPS roads throughout the NRA. The plan misses the mark by ignoring the potentially broad and significant impacts from widespread ORV use on the park’s plants, wildlife and remote wilderness qualities.

Particularly concerning is the NPS decision to introduce all-terrain vehicles, designed for off-road travel, to a portion of the remote “Orange Cliffs” area, which has historically been off-limits to such damaging use. Known for its striking sandstone cliffs, incredibly dark night skies, and natural sounds, the Orange Cliffs borders Canyonlands National Park, where all-terrain vehicle use is prohibited to protect that park’s resources and values.

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

“It is disappointing to see the National Park Service approve the final Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Off-Road-Vehicle Management Plan encouraging more ORV use when the need has not been demonstrated. This decision will lead to increased off-road vehicle traffic and subsequent damage to the area’s unique landscape.

“ATV use in Glen Canyon’s Orange Cliffs region will likely jeopardize the remote, backcountry solitude of adjacent Canyonlands National Park. With limited park staff to monitor this region for damaging and illegal ORV use, it is careless to put these special places at risk.

“7,000 miles of designated ORV routes around Glen Canyon are already open to ORV use. Widespread ORV use in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will sacrifice another beautiful place to damage. With this decision, the National Park Service is not living up to its stewardship responsibilities.”

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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.