Two new BLM travel management plans for the Henry Mountains/Fremont Gorge and Dolores River threaten public lands access for users of all ages and abilities 

June 4, 2024
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Utahns encouraged to engage in the BLM planning process and voice concerns

SALT LAKE CITY (June 4, 2024)  — In the past few weeks, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated public comment periods for two more travel management plans (TMP). Utahns are encouraged to engage in the BLM planning process by submitting formal comments and concerns to ensure the final TMPs reflect the needs of Utah and residents of both Utah and Colorado. 

A travel management plan is like a rulebook, established by the BLM that outlines where people can and can’t use vehicles like cars, trucks or ATVs on public lands. While TMPs are designed to manage access, promote economic benefits and ensure responsible stewardship, there is a growing concern that recent plans — these plans included — could harm Utah as they limit management and detrimentally restrict access to public lands for people of all ages and abilities. 

“The current direction the BLM is taking in these travel management plans risks excluding many people who depend on vehicle access to experience or manage these public lands. We urge the public to engage in this process — your feedback is indispensable in helping us craft a plan that genuinely reflects the needs of Utah,” said Redge Johnson, Director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office.

Henry Mountains and Fremont Gorge TMP: How to Participate in the Public Comment Period for 1.7 million acres of BLM managed land across Garfield and Wayne counties. 

  • Review the Plan: Access the preliminary alternatives and associated documents on the BLM National NEPA Register to understand the proposed changes and their implications. Visit BLM NEPA Register.
  • Submit Your Comment: Voice your concerns by June 10, 2024. Comments can be submitted online through the “Participate Now” button on the NEPA Register site or mailed to:

Attn: Henry Mountain Fremont Gorge TMP

Bureau of Land Management

150 East 900 North

Richfield, UT 84701

Dolores River Travel Management Area (TMA): How to Participate in the Public Comment Period for approximately 127,000 acres of BLM managed land in portions of Grand County, Utah

  • Review the Area: Access maps of the inventoried routes in the Travel Management Area on the BLM National NEPA Register to understand potential changes to access and their implications. Visit BLM NEPA Register for more information.
  • Attend the public scoping meeting scheduled for June 5, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. in Moab (Grand Center 182 North 500 West). This meeting is an opportunity to learn more about the TMA and how the BLM would designate a comprehensive travel network of motorized routes and trails, and to provide your comments. 
  • Submit Your Comment: Voice your concerns by June 21, 2024. Comments can be submitted online through the “Participate Now” button on the NEPA Register site or mailed to:

Attn: Dolores River TMP

Bureau of Land Management

82 Dogwood Ave 

Moab, UT 84532

Why Your Input Matters:
A travel management plan is essentially a rulebook established by the BLM for traveling on public lands. These rules include defining where vehicles like cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs may or may not go. Recent TMPs in the Labyrinth Rims and San Rafael Swell areas have increased restrictions, converting vast areas to foot-only access. Such measures can drastically reduce public access, contrary to state efforts aimed at ensuring lasting opportunities for users of all ages and abilities.

Potential closures have been identified for the Henry Mountains and Fremont Gorge, sharing what these roads are used for, how you use them, and why they matter to you is important at this stage of the BLM’s process, before the final travel management plan is issued.

Public scoping allows the BLM to gather data and better understand what elements and issues it should consider when drafting the travel plan. Participating in the scoping comment period for the Dolores River TMA is a critical time when public input can help shape the development of the alternatives the BLM will consider.

“Every comment counts. By participating, you help ensure a TMP does not unnecessarily restrict access or hinder proper management efforts. Together we can stand for our lands to see management plans reflect a balanced approach that ensures best management and access for all,” Johnson said.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Laura Ault
lauraault@utah.gov
801-550-7754