San Juan County commissioner leads ATV ride protesting BLM trail closure

By Steven Law

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, May 8 2014 9:55 p.m. MDT

“They can still do their protest, they can still make their point, but they need to use one of the trails where ATVs are legal,” Crandall said.

The BLM has said they will pursue appropriate penalties against anyone who uses a motorized vehicle inside Recapture Canyon.

Lyman said the idea of driving ATVs through Recapture Canyon as a form of protest came about in a town hall meeting in which residents complained heavily about what they perceived as the federal government over-reaching their authority.

“A lot of people had frustrations with the BLM, particularly the way they had changed their posture in accordance to small rural communities," Lyman said. “So I expect that we’ll drive across that line Saturday simply because the BLM has said ‘Thou shalt not cross.’ ”

There are concerns that if the ATV protest riders do cross into the Recapture Canyon on their ATVs that such open disregard for the BLM’s ATV ban — with the BLM watching and promising to enforce the restrictions – could escalate into a standoff between the ATV protestors and the BLM similar to the stand-off between the BLM and Cliven Bundy in Nevada regarding grazing rights on BLM land.

Lyman planned the ATM protest ride locally, prior to the Bundy Ranch conflict, but has since invited participation from supporters across the U.S.

San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge said he and his department plan to attend the event to provide crowd control, if needed.

Steven Law has been writing for KSL.com since 2011. He writes about exploration, outdoor travel, and science.

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