National Park Service to allow more off-road vehicle activity at Glen Canyon Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is set to allow more off-road vehicle traffic in the future. (Photo/NPS)

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is set to allow more off-road vehicle traffic in the future. (Photo/NPS)

PAGE, Ariz. — The National Park Service (NPS) will move forward with plans to increase access and recreational opportunities within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area by approving a Record of Decision (ROD) for the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on managing off-road vehicle (ORV) use throughout the NPS unit.

“Our intent with this plan is to increase access for these classes of motor vehicles and also ensure we offer a wide and diverse range of opportunities to maximize all public recreation use,” said Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Superintendent William Shott. “I believe we successfully met these objectives while ensuring we continue to protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources that make the recreation area special. This balance was only possible because of the substantial collaboration from our partners and public.”

Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica signed the Record of Decision (ROD) to complete the park’s Off-Road Vehicle Management Plan/EIS.

The ORV Management Plan authorizes street legal ORV use on the majority of paved and unpaved roads throughout the recreation area and permits off-road use along 14 accessible shorelines, at Lone Rock Beach and Play Area, and on approximately 21 miles of ORV routes.

The Glen Canyon ORV Management Plan allows ORV use on unpaved roads south of the Orange Cliffs Unit that were previously limited to conventional vehicles and street-legal all-terrain vehicles. ORV use is also authorized on approximately eight miles of road in the southern portion of the Orange Cliffs Unit, completing the 100-mile Poison Spring Loop located on NPS and adjacent Bureau of Land Management lands.

Lastly, the ORV Plan includes a permit system for ORVs accessing shorelines, the Lone Rock Beach and Play Area, and most ORV routes. The permit fees will support education and provide cost recovery for administration and monitoring of the program.

Final regulations implementing the approved plan will be published in the Federal Register. Federal law requires any unit of the National Park Service that allows ORV use to develop special regulations to address that use. The proposed regulations were made available for public comment earlier this year. More than 6,000 public comments were received. The park will begin implementation of the plan, including education, in 2019.

Throughout the planning process, the NPS consulted with cooperating agencies, elected officials, tribes, and the Arizona and Utah State Historic Preservation Officers. The NPS also solicited public comments while evaluating the Draft EIS (released in January 2014) and the Final EIS (released in January 2017). The ORV EIS analyzed a range of alternatives to evaluate off-road use by conventional and non-conventional motor vehicles and on-road use by non-conventional motor vehicles.

Information provided by NPS.

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