Earlier this week non-motorized recreation groups joined a number of Utah businesses on a letter to President Obama urging him to designate 1.4 million acres of public lands in Utah as a National Monument. The letter stated, “Federal land use plans inappropriately open scenic and undeveloped land to drilling and mining and fail to address exploding off-road vehicle use that is damaging riparian areas, cultural sites, soils and solitude” (emphasis added). Of course the letter fails to note that a recent management plan was put in place for the area that is supported by local governments and limits motorized and non-motorized activities to routes that have been subject to environmental analysis and public involvement. Further, the letter from non-motorized organizations cites an economic impact study that shows “that outdoor recreation is ‘an overlooked economic giant,’ generating $646 billion in national sales and services in 2011 and supporting 6.1 million jobs…” Again, they are telling only part of the story. The same study shows that approximately $257 billion or nearly 40% of the total $646 billion in economic impact is derived from motorized recreation. And, as you know, motorized recreation is far too often shut out of National Monument areas.
ARRA and our partners are pushing back. Click here to view a response letter signed by 14 national organizations representing responsible motorized recreation. This letter is a start, but we need your help to ensure that the President understands that effective land management is best achieved through deliberative local processes that engage all stakeholders – not through Administrative fiat.
Please click the Take Action link to send an email to the President opposing this and other massive, inappropriate designations of National Monuments. It is important for motorized recreation enthusiasts all across the country to weigh in as today anti-access organizations have targeted Utah, but tomorrow it may be your state.