Those of us who ride off road and enjoy using the land for responsible recreation are a giving, caring, protective, volunteering lot. We do more for trail maintenance, upkeep and responsible use than most. Unfortunately, there are a few of us who do not fall into this category and abuse the land without thought. Because of this, governmental agencies seeking to “protect the land from misuse” often “fix” the issue by imposing user restrictions and charging user fees. They believe that they know what’s best for all of us, and that their methodologies are the only way to do so.
We know that governmental agencies while good intentioned, governmental solutions often utilize bureaucratic and administrative means to “save the environment” by onerous methods. One of the most recent in the USA is the National Park Service’s plan to limit access to these important recreational areas. The NPS is presently taking comments to their proposed action in limiting access to a well loved and important recreational area in Utah called “White Rim Trail”. This beautiful trail travels long the rim of the Canyonlands National Park Canyon and is an amazing beautiful natural resource that should be available to all.
To “protect” White Rim and the general area, NPS is proposing the following:
The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to require permits for all motor vehicle and bicycle day use on the White Rim and Elephant Hill roads in Canyonlands National Park. Requiring permits for day use on these increasingly popular roads will help the park better protect resources and the visitor experience in these wild and remote locations.
For the White Rim road, a total of 50 day use vehicle permits (including motorcycles) and 50 day use bicycle permits will be issued each day. Group size will be limited to three vehicles and 15 bicycles.
A total of 24 day use vehicle permits (including motorcycles) and 12 day use bicycle permits will be issued each day for the Elephant Hill road. Group size will be limited to three vehicles and 12 bicycles.
While we support the preservation of important recreational lands, the NPS’s proposal is not the means to accomplish it. Their plan will limit access to 50 day use vehicles (which includes motorcycles) and 50 bicycle permits. Each vehicle and bicycle must obtain a permit prior to using the land. Even more ominously, NPS will be limiting group size to 3 vehicles (and 15 bicycles). NPS indicates that no fee will be charged for the 2015 – 2016 season, but they make no such assertions for the period beyond.
We can’t sit idly by while the Government continues to encroach on our land. It’s not the Government’s land, it’s your land and my land. So please, pay attention to land grabs like this and the many others that occur not only in the USA, but around the world. Speak up and make your voice heard. Write your legislators and tell them what you think and want. Email, snail mail, call. Do Something! Otherwise, what was once your land and my land will become the land of the government.
So, start now. Even if you do not use White Rim, or ever plan to use White Rim and the surrounding areas, take the time now to have your voice heard by those who would limit your access. Click here and let the Government know what you think. If you need some fodder for your comment, you can cut, paste and edit the below:
I am are quite concerned about the additional restrictions the National Park Service continues to impose upon law abiding land users. While the National Park Service’s goals may be well intentioned, the users themselves should be responsible for the appropriate and safe use of the land. Additional user fees and restrictions on usage do not improve the land or the overall use of the land. Responsible User Groups in concert with public education provide more appropriate oversight of our important natural and recreational resources.
NPS’s proposed actions continue to restrict access and impose fees which do not support the rights of the users. I consider NPS’s proposal to restrict access to 50 motorized vehicles per day and no more than 3 vehicles to a group is overly restrictive and does not further the goals of protecting the land. Please do not restrict access to the lands that belong to the people. NPS’s proposal, while well intentioned, restricts and reduces access to the lands that ALL citizens are entitled to enjoy.
If you don’t take action now, your right to ride will continue to shrink. Thanks for taking the time to read this and more importantly, make your voice heard by commenting using the link above. For a brief look of what it is like at Canyonlands National Park, check out the video below. Don’t lose your access!