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Friday, January 17, 2014

Public Comments Sought On Glen Canyon Off-road Vehicle Management Plan

Right now, off-road vehicles are allowed to operate in only a few areas around Lake Powell, in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Officials have been reviewing off-road vehicle use and have drafted an environmental impact statement that looks at 5 options for future management.

Decisions regarding off-road vehicle use will impact recreation at Powell. A public comments period is now open and people are encouraged to make their views known on this subject.

Details can be found here. Below are highlights provided by the National Park Service.

Five alternatives are analyzed. Alternative A, the "no-action" alternative, represents the continuation of existing management policies and action related to the use of ORVs in Glen Canyon and represents “no change” from the current level of management direction and level of management intensity. Alternative B, the environmentally preferred alternative, does not designate any ORV routes or areas and would allow motorized vehicle use only on existing park roads. Alternative C would expand recreational opportunities by increasing the number of ORV routes and areas as well as the types of vehicles that would be allowed on park roads. Alternative D would limit the number of ORV routes and areas and prohibit the operation of OHVs and ATVs throughout Glen Canyon. Alternative E, the NPS preferred alternative, designates a mixture of opportunities for motorized recreation on park roads and designated ORV routes and at remote shoreline areas while prohibiting such uses in areas where resources and values may be at risk.
All action alternatives include provisions to improve signs and road/route markings, develop a communication strategy to better educate visitors on regulations and resource concerns, and to close and restore routes and areas not designated for off-road use. In alternatives that would provide for off-road use, management and mitigation strategies are outlined to address the impacts from off-road use. This would include implementation of a permit system to provide for education on applicable regulations, provide for visitor safety, prevent resource damage and recover costs for monitoring, mitigation, education and administration of the permit system.
All comments on the Plan/DEIS are welcome, particularly those that assess the adequacy of the document in disclosing and evaluating the effects on the environment. These comments are most useful if they are as specific as possible and do the following:
  • Discuss a particular plan element or alternative
  • Identify incomplete or incorrect information
  • Offer reasons why a particular alternative or plan element would or would not work
  • Offer a reasonable, new plan element or completely new alternative that could help accomplish the stated goals
  • Point out discrepancies between legal mandates and proposals
  • Highlight deficiencies in the analysis of environmental consequences
  • Provide information on how you use the park and how particular proposals in the planning document would affect that use.

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