Suggested Talking Points for Your Arch Canyon Letter (please use your own words)
I oppose the use of motorized vehicles, including off-road vehicles, in Arch Canyon and I oppose the BLM’s plan to issue permits for off-road vehicle events in Arch Canyon. There are thousands of miles of dirt roads and trails in southeastern Utah that offer ample opportunities for various types of off-road vehicle riding, however, there is just one Arch Canyon, with it’s irreplaceable cultural sites and artifacts.
Arch Canyon has not been comprehensively surveyed for archaeological resources, but an independent professional archaeologist that has conducted limited surveys and fieldwork in the canyon estimates that there are more than 100 undocumented cultural sites in the canyon, some of which could be impacted by the vehicle route in the bottom of the canyon, and others indirectly impacted, either maliciously or accidentally, by the increased access provided by motorized vehicles.
Allowing vehicles to drive approximately 8 miles up this canyon, crossing the stream 60 times for a one way trip to reach the U.S. Forest Service boundary where motorized vehicles are prohibited, cannot be justified. Vehicles cross the stream 120 times for the short roundtrip in the canyon, stirring up sediment, dripping oil and other fluids at each stream crossing, altering stream banks and tearing out native vegetation along the way. BLM does not know the effects such use is having, or will have on the continued survival of three native fish species. One of more of the native fish species in Arch Canyon’s stream could be a unique, genetically distinct species having been separated from the larger population for perhaps a million years.
I request that BLM fully analyze the direct, indirect and cumulative impacts that off-road vehicle use has on the cultural and natural resources in Arch Canyon, and to honor the traditional and ceremonial values in Arch Canyon for which Native Americans have voiced concern.