Press Release Jan 23, 2021

Parks group files lawsuit over off-road vehicle usage at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Park Service's decision to authorize off-road vehicles in Glen Canyon will harm the landscape and disrupt other visitors

Salt Lake City, UT – The National Parks Conservation Association filed a lawsuit this week against the National Park Service, for its destructive plans to authorize off-road vehicle use throughout Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA).

The Park Service’s decision ignores the potentially substantial impacts of off-road vehicle use on the park’s plants, wildlife and backcountry solitude. This would have particularly significant impacts within the remote Orange Cliffs area bordering Canyonlands National Park, where the Park Service has consistently prohibited off-road vehicle use.

The final rule authorizes a vast network of off-road vehicle trails throughout the NRA, but also leaves open the possibility for even more off-road access in the Orange Cliffs in the future. The potential for environmental damage, noise pollution and spoiling the visitor experience throughout the NRA is unacceptable.

Statement by Erika Pollard, Associate Director for the Southwest Region for the National Park Conservation Association:

“The National Park Service is not living up to its stewardship responsibilities, giving us no other choice but to take the agency to court over its plan that will damage the remote landscape and disturb park visitors.

“Off-road vehicles have been known to wreak havoc on sensitive lands and disturb wildlife. The engine noise can travel for miles, affecting the intense quiet, especially within the Orange Cliffs, an area known for its backcountry solitude. The sounds could even be heard at nearby Canyonlands National Park.

“With more than 7,000 miles of ATV routes available for riders just outside of Glen Canyon, there is no need to sacrifice another beautiful place to this type of damage.”

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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.

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