Letter: Remote redrock riparian corridors — as in the Labyrinth Canyon system — are no place for motorized traffic

(Courtesy photo by Pete McBride, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) Utah’s Bowknot Bend on the Green River in the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness Area.

Anyone with an interest in the health and well-being of our natural world understands that Ken Kraus is right — and I strongly agree — that remote redrock riparian corridors are no place for motorized traffic.

In large part because of rapid growth in the off-road vehicle industry, Moab’s boom has become its own worst enemy. Through their travel planning process, the Moab Bureau of Land Management needs to add balance to its multi-use mission and stop letting off-road vehicles — just because they can and want to — operate in the area’s sparse quiet desert riparian areas where wildlife congregate as a matter of survival.

The few wet corridors eroding out of the Gemini Bridges area which create the Labyrinth Canyon system should not be a near free-for-all for motorized recreation. Even under the most restrictive travel alternatives being considered in these areas, there would still be hundreds of miles to roam on four wheels. The wheels can and should stay on higher ground and out of the narrow ribbons of vegetation and waterways — such as Ten Mile Canyon — that see unnecessary erosion and damage to stream banks due to unregulated vehicle crossings.

One important lesson I learned during my 35-year professional career in land and resource management is that nature has a remarkable way of recovering, if we just give it space and time. Please get it right this time, BLM.

Jeanne Evenden, Ogden

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