Bears Ears Comments Needed Now!

We can’t always have an impact when it comes to national land use policy and how it is implemented, but today we have a special opportunity to affect change regarding National Monuments in Utah. The Secretary of the Interior has opened a special public comment period to allow citizens to voice their concerns over the size and scope of recent Monument designations.

The comment period ends Friday the 26th so we have to act today!

The administration and key members of Congress have reached out to the offroad community and we need your involvement to make sure our voices are heard.

Please submit your comments by clicking the “Comment Now!” button here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

We also encourage you to review Regulation.gov’s tips for submitting effective comments: https://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_For_Submitting_Effective_Comments.pdf

Remember, that your comments should be in your own words! Any variation of a form letter is counted as only one comment, no matter how many times it is submitted. Please read the official Expedition Utah comment and the talking points from Blue Ribbon Coalition, and then make your own comment on the issue.

Those in favor of these large Monument designations have been actively soliciting comments from the public and using dishonest advertising to gain support. We need to counter these influences and act now on behalf of recreation uses in Utah.

Take a few minutes to comment and then please encourage your friends to comment! The clock is ticking and time is running out!

Please submit your comments by clicking the “Comment Now!” button here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Official Expedition Utah comment:

The Honorable Ryan Zinke
Secretary of the Interior
US Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Mr. Secretary,

Thank you for providing an opportunity for public comment on the issue of National Monument designations. Expedition Utah is a non-profit group of like-minded individuals who enjoy traveling and exploring Utah and the west via motorized and non-motorized recreation. As frequent users of Utah’s backcountry, we have strong, locally-formed opinions about historic access and recreation uses on public lands.

We believe that the areas known as Bears Ears and Grand Stair-Escalante are special parts of Utah with rich history and amazing recreation opportunities. We also believe that the public has a right to maintain historic access and uses in these areas, outside of sensitive historic sites that should be granted proper protection. Historic access should always be protected.

We agree that parts of the Bears Ears area should be protected. However, the area of 1.35 million acres far exceeds the boundary necessary to protect the significant historic and cultural sites present. As suggested by the Utah Public Lands Initiative proposal, we would prefer to see the pertinent sites protected via National Conservation Areas established by Congress.

We would like to see the process begin again with more local public influence from the areas affected. Recreation users, property owners, local governments, businesses and permit holders should all have more input in how local public lands are managed.

Again, we thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important issue and wish you good luck in your role as chief steward and administrator of our public lands.

Sincerely, the members of Expedition Utah.
8859 South 1275 East
Sandy, Utah 84094

http://www.expeditionutah.com

Talking Points from Blue Ribbon Coalition:

Legislation is always preferable to unilateral Executive action. We support the Utah Public Lands Initiative as the proper way of balancing preservation and multiple use of these lands.

We support the concerns and comments of a truly diverse range of stakeholders, including affected counties, property owners, businesses, permit holder, residents and elected officials.

The Monument should be reduced in size to the smallest acreage necessary to protect the true “objects” of the Monument.

The Proclamation should be amended to recognize outdoor recreation, including motorized trail riding and historic permitted OHV events, as allowed uses or purposes of the Monument.

Specific, established recreation corridors should be specifically identified for continuing use, including motorized recreation. If you know specific routes or have personal experiences to relate you should do so.

Direction should be provided instructing that for any routes closed to motorized travel, the Secretary will determine whether an interim restriction with subsequent restoration of access is appropriate, and if not, the proper relocation or establishment of comparable additional motorized access that can be implemented to offset the closure.

A motorized recreation representative should be a required member of any advisory council.

Contribute to BRC here: https://sharetrails.org/contribution-options/

We do apologize for the late timing of this request. We’re all volunteers and do our best to release information in a timely manner.

Posted in Southern Utah
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