BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Trail System for Recapture Canyon | UTAH

A range of alternatives is considered, including off-highway vehicle use

BLM Utah, Monticello Field Office, Share Trails Land Use Update
BLM Utah, Monticello Field Office, Share Trails Land Use UpdateCourtesy of

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah Monticello Field Office is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment (EA) analyzing a proposed trail system for Recapture Canyon near Blanding, Utah. The EA responds to San Juan County's application for a right-of-way that would provide additional off-road, motorized travel opportunities in the Recapture Canyon area. The public comment period will be open for 45 days and comments can be submitted online.

"This EA provides a robust range of alternatives for the public to consider," said Jenna Whitlock, BLM-Utah Acting State Director. "Public input will help the BLM determine the best way to manage recreation in the Recapture Canyon area while also protecting the extraordinary cultural resources and important riparian habitat found there."

The EA analyzes six alternatives that consider a broad range of possible recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, dispersed camping, and off-highway vehicle use. The alternatives also evaluate the potential impacts to cultural resources and riparian habitat from these proposed uses.

One alternative analyzes San Juan County's proposal to create a 11.67 mile trail system designated for ATV use. Trails would also be open for hiking, biking, and equestrian use. Another alternative considers a 13.75 mile mixed-use trail system for motorized and non-motorized use but does not include the County's request for a motorized trail in the bottom of Recapture Canyon. A third alternative looks at designating 7.5 miles of proposed motorized trail solely on the upland mesa area west of Recapture Canyon. Some alternatives examine issuing a right of way to San Juan County, while others consider giving the BLM the responsibility for constructing, maintaining and monitoring trails. The EA, including all six alternatives, can be reviewed online using the BLM's ePlanning website to access the draft assessment.

Public participation and comments are essential to the BLM decision-making process. Comments will be accepted throughout the 45-day public comment period, which ends Oct. 24, 2016. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the ePlanning website, or submitted by mail to the BLM Monticello Field Office.

To submit comments electronically, open the project ePlanning webpage and click on "Documents" in the left hand menu. Select the "Comment on Document" button to provide a comment.

Written comments may be mailed to the address below (please be sure to reference Recapture ROW in your comment and in the address):

Bureau of Land Management
Monticello Field Office
Attn: Recreation Program (Recapture ROW)
P.O. Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

Before including an address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment-including personal identifying information-may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review can be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For further information regarding the proposal, please contact Don Hoffheins, Monticello Field Manager, at (435) 587-1500. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

Thanks in advance and, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Ric Foster
Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext. 2