angled overhead view of gemini bridges trail

Utah authorities challenge BLM’s travel management decision

November 2, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 2, 2023) – The Utah Attorney General’s Office has filed a petition with the Department of the Interior to stop the implementation of the Bureau of Land Management’s travel management plan, which would close access to hundreds of miles of roads and trails in the Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges area north of Canyonlands National Park.

“The BLM’s plan to close trails in this treasured region is completely unacceptable,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said. “These are historic routes that have been used by the public for generations, and we won’t tolerate this kind of blatant federal overreach.”

This Labyrinth Rims/Gemini Bridges area is cherished by Utah’s residents and visitors for its diverse motorized and non-motorized recreational opportunities. Transportation systems across these public lands must find the right balance between various recreational uses while conserving crucial natural resources and scenic vistas.  

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Land Management’s Sept. 28 travel management decision fails to strike this balance, unilaterally closing down 317 miles of Utah’s cherished motorized trails while ignoring public rights-of-way. 

“The BLM’s idea of balancing public land use shuts down access to hundreds of miles of roads and trails in the Labyrinth Rims area,” Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said. “This is one of the most popular areas for outdoor recreation in the state, and it attracts people from around the world. We understand the desire and appreciate efforts to preserve these precious lands, but we are asking for a more collaborative, less drastic plan moving forward.”

Utah continues to advocate for the right of Utahns to access and enjoy their public lands.