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Health, Science & Environment

ORV Group Reacts to Court Decision

blm_richfield.jpg
Bureau of Land Management
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The BLM's Richfield office manages public land in Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne and Garfield counties in Utah

  A group representing off-road vehicle users doesn’t think a court decision against a BLM Resource Management Plan means all the others are in trouble. 

The Bureau of Land Management issued six Resource Management Plans for its offices in southern and eastern Utah in the closing weeks of the Bush administration.  This week, a federal judge ruled the off road vehicle routes in the Richfield plan are invalid and ordered BLM to take another look.

Brian Hawthorne with the Blue Ribbon Coalition, which represents ORV users across the West, says there’s a reason environmental groups challenged the Richfield plan first.

“The Richfield office had been known as a little bit not sufficient," Hawthorne told KUER.  "They didn’t dot the I’s and cross the t’s as well as some of the other offices.  We knew going into the suit that, of the various field offices, this was probably the weak link.”

There are court cases pending against the other five plans as well, but Hawthorne thinks there’s an opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement of the issues.  He says environmentalists have been meeting with groups like his and Congressman Rob Bishop’s staff, hoping to work out a deal on wilderness designation, ORV use and other land use issues in eastern Utah.

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