Gov’s Office to AG’s Office: Investigate Recapture Canyon Closure | KUER 90.1

Gov’s Office to AG’s Office: Investigate Recapture Canyon Closure

Jul 17, 2015

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has asked the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the legality of the Recapture Canyon closure by the Bureau of Land Management in 2007.

Jon Cox is the communications director for the Governor.

“If it’s found that it was closed improperly, we would certainly urge the Bureau of Land Management to immediately open that road.”

Travel through the canyon is restricted to protect ancient burial sites and artifacts. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman was convicted in federal court of conspiring to illegally ride ATV’s in the canyon. He told KUER in June last year the intention of his protest ride was to show that the BLM’s closing of the area to ATV’s was an illegal activity.

Megan Crandall is a spokeswoman for the BLM. She says there’s a tendency for people assume more rights of way when only specific ones are given.

“Our rights of way are approved for certain purposes and in this case it was approved for a water pipeline. It was not specifically approved for; for example OHV use or for some other use.” Crandall says, “So to say that that water pipeline is also a road or is also a recreational trail, is incorrect.”

Crandall says the agency works very hard to balance an increasingly complex mix of how land is being used. She says every use on every acre is not the best way to manage lands.