The Friends of the San Rafael filed suit in Federal Court in Salt Lake City challenging the 2003 San Rafael Swell Route Designation Plan. The group, consisting of appellants of the plan which closed 468 miles of historical roads, has been waiting for nearly 2Ã¯Â¿Â½ years for the Interior Board of Land Appeals to consider their administrative appeal. There was no alternative but to turn to the Federal Courts for relief.
The hastily imposed travel plan is rife with violations of law and traditional access. It was written by BLM personnel with a demonstrated bias against motorized access and was intended to appease rich and elite environmental organizations. It is directed toward the promotion of Wild and Scenic Rivers and Wilderness where none of these qualities exist. By terminating travel, the plan seeks to manufacture "Roadless" areas that will one day qualify for these designations.
According to spokesman Rainer Huck, "Closing more than one third of the existing roads at the same time the popularity of motorized recreation is exploding flies in the face of reason."
Although the great majority of recreationists use motorized vehicles to access public lands, vast areas of the San Rafael Swell have now been left to the exclusive use of a few hearty backpackers. Roads long used by local residents, and the beautiful areas they accessed, are now off limits.
"We just want to preserve traditional access," said Huck.
For further information contact Rainer Huck at 801-467-3795 or 801- 201-9660 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.