Monday was the deadline for an important public comment period. Recently, the State of Utah and Washington County applied for a Recordable Disclaimer of Interest in a road named Manganese Road near Gunlock Reservoir.
Basically this means the state and the county are saying that because this road existed prior to the passage of FLPMA that it is a public highway right-of-way. In other words, Utah and Washington consider this road to be their property, and the BLM shouldn’t have jurisdiction over the road.
BLM regulations allow the United States to disclaim its interest in the road and clarify that the road in fact does belong to the State of Utah and Washington County.
SUWA is not happy about this, and they have been pushing their members to oppose this. Their argument boils down to two crucial issues. 1. They claim that because the law that allows for this is old and “obscure” that apparently it is unlawful for the agency to be considering this. Last time we checked the law is the law. Agency decision makers don’t have the choice to not follow the law just because a law is obscure. 2. SUWA knows this and it scares them that an agency bureaucrat can just start acknowledging that Utah’s roads actually do belong to Utah.
You see the lawyers at SUWA literally live for twenty year lawsuits where federal judges can make sweeping decisions that close thousands of miles of roads at once. This is where the paychecks come from.
If they’re right about this Manganese Road application, then if the BLM grants the right-of-way to the state, then the state can go through this same process with 10,000s of miles of roads. We guarantee that wherever your favorite place to ride is, it is implicated in this decision.
We joined with BlueRibbon Coalition and Utah OHV Advocates to send a comment on behalf of the OHV community that we support the State of Utah and Washington County in their application.
We invite you to read our letter, so you can learn more about this issue and where we stand. Hopefully, you’ll see that we are working hard to protect our access to Utah’s unrivaled roads and trails.
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We noticed on Facebook that many of our followers and members were aware of this issue and posting their own comments. Thank you! We have to work together on these issues. We’re working on a plan to take things to the next level. We’ll let you know about it soon.