The Kane Gulch Ranger Station in the Grand Gulch Primitive Area remains closed for the winter, but there has never been any intention of closing it permanently, Bureau of Land Management officials said.

"We are looking to increase our presence in Grand Gulch, not decrease it," said Craig Harmon, head archaeologist for the Utah BLM. "We have plans to build a new visitors center and hire more rangers."Harmon said the BLM has been besieged with phone calls and letters, including two congressional inquiries, from people alarmed about reports the ranger station is closing. The station serves as a visitor contact point in one of the nation's richest concentration of Basketmaker and Anasazi archaeological sites.

"The rumors simply aren't true," Harmon said, adding the rumors appear to have been started by a disgruntled ex-employee.

The Kane Gulch Ranger Station will reopen April 15, as it does every year. It closes every year at about Thanksgiving, when few backpackers venture into the canyons.