The Caineville Fiasco

I recived this email today and thought I would pass it on to everone here.

Land Use Activists,

Below you will find the Op-Ed from the March 20th Salt Lake Tribune which

has generated quite a debate on the Opinion pages of the SLT.

For those of you who are familiar with Factory Butte / Caineville you

already know what a popular and appropriate riding area it is. For those of

you who may not be aware.........the links below will help you get a feel

for how emotional this battle is and will continue to be.

SUWA has set their sights on getting the BLM to CLOSE this area. They have

circled their wagons, dug in their heels and are going all out for a victory

at Caineville. We (that means YOU) need to do the same. So, if you aren't

already a member of Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) and Blue Ribbon

Coalition (BRC). Please, please, please, please take the challenge

seriously and

JOIN------------PARTICIPATE-----------------DONATE !!!!!

It's simple, quick and painless..........do it for your children. Put your

money where your wheels are.

visit:

USA-ALL www.usa-all.com

Blue Ribbon Coalition www.sharetrails.org

****************************************************************************

***

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Who is the BLM serving?

Author(s): Randy Ramsley Date: March 20, 2005 Page: AA5 Section: Opinion

John C. Dohrenwend, adjunct professor of geosciences, University of Arizona,

a geologist who has studied the world's desert landscapes for more than 30

years, characterized Factory Butte and its surrounding Caineville badlands

most appropriately when he stated in a letter to the Bureau of Land

Management, "these badlands may well be the best-developed badlands on the

North American Continent." The question is, "For how long?"

These badlands are bordered by Capitol Reef National Park on the west, the

San Rafael Swell on the north, the Henry Mountains on the south and

Canyonlands National Park on the east. Factory Butte, North Caineville Mesa

and South Caineville Mesa are the dominant features.

These monoliths of sandstone and Mancos shale have been influenced by the

sculpturing hands of nature for more than 100,000 years. The hands of nature

have done an incredible job of forming some of the most striking and

beautiful land forms under a desert sky.

Today these incredible land forms are falling victim to the unrelenting

wheels of off-road extreme machines. The impact to the landscape is shocking

and irreversible. The riders are restricted only by the natural barriers.

And the technology of the machine is steadily finding ways to overcome these

barriers.

There are many designated roads and trails in the area that offer ample

opportunity and access for all. Many of the machines do not follow the roads

and trails. The drivers of these off-road machines are extreme sport riders

and are not there to experience the beauty of a truly remarkable area. They

are there rather to get an adrenalin rush from the machine as it races over

the fragile gray hills.

According to numbers generated by a tentative study conducted by Dohrenwend,

as much as 50 tons of landscape will blow or wash away unnaturally each year

from each acre of disturbed gray hillside broken by the wheels of the

machines. This is a rate at least five times faster than the natural rate of

erosion. These disturbing numbers will only increase as the machines disturb

more ground.

Nature is no match for the evolving machine.

The Bureau of Land Management is aware of the destructive impact the extreme

sport has on the fragile environment of these badlands. More than 20 years

ago researchers working for the BLM warned that the machines severely

threatened the future of this landscape.

In 1995 the district manager informed concerned citizens that a management

plan was due to be released very soon and would deal with the conflict

between nature and the machine. He indicated that the management plan would

include an off-road play area designed to allow off-road enthusiasts the

thrill they are seeking without sacrificing the entire badlands area.

Now, 10 years later, there are still no management practices in place to

protect the little remaining undisturbed area.

The BLM declares that its job is to manage the land in a manner that allows

for multiple use of the land. One of the phrases the bureau uses is, "Enjoy,

don't destroy." And yet, the unrestricted use of extreme off-road machines

does destroy and does completely eliminate other uses from the area.

Many business persons from the area have asked the BLM to protect the

designated scenic byway, Highway 24, from the visual impairment generated by

the machines.

They have said that tourism is a sustainable industry that cannot be

outsourced. They have indicated to the Bureau of Land Management that nearly

606,000 tourists visited Capitol Reef National Park in 2004. These tourists

were interested in a quality visual experience.

Most of these tourists traveled through the increasing wasteland generated

by the off-road machines that extends for more than 20 miles from Hanksville

to Capitol Reef National Park. Many are so offended that they hurry through

the area without stopping.

The question being asked by many is "Who is the Bureau of Land Management

serving?" Are they serving hundreds of thousands of visitors who annually

travel along Highway 24 and the local businesses that rely on those

visitors?

Or are they serving a few riders and the makers of the machines that these

riders use?

A sacrifice zone appropriately sized to the use should be designated. This

zone will allow the extreme machines and their riders the opportunity to

express themselves. The existing roads and trails can be used by other

riders to access the truly remarkable vistas of the area. And the roadless

areas can be used by the plant and animal community, which does contain

several threatened and endangered species, to sustain itself.

This would be a true implementation of multiple use and would be fair and

right for all involved. Now is the time to implement this management

strategy. Later will be too late.

-----

Randy Ramsley is a farmer and business owner in Caineville, Utah.

SL TRIB. 03/30/2005

> Rainer's Letter: Access to our land

> http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_2629650

>

> Salt Lake Tribune

> 03 April 2005

>

> Let's get real about Factory Butte

> http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_2637803

>

> (WOW! Awesome rebuttal to enviro-dogma about Factory Butte.

> Good facts to have for any debate about Factory Butte. Thanks

> USA-ALL.)

>

> Factory Butte Godfrey Expert Witness Report

> http://www.usa-all.com/docs/GODFREY_WITNESS_REPORT.PDF

> (Report cited in above commentary.)

>

> Profiles in Cabbage

> http://www.canyoncountryzephyr.com/aug-sept2004/cabbage.htm

> (Zephyr story about Ramsley.)

>

> Salt Lake Tribune

> 04 April 2005

>

>

> Running on fumes

> http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_2638857

> (Sheesh. Fighting facts with fiction.)

>

> A scofflaw attitude

> http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_2638858

> (Where does RS2477 say that only "constructed roads" qualify? Regarding

> RS2477: "It is a statute in desperate need of

> clarification." Amen, that's what Rainer was doing!)

>

> Special thanks to John Borg for getting these links together and spreading

> them around!

>

> KEEP WRITING LETTERS! Our efforts are working, we need to let the public

> know what's really going on.

>

>

> Mike Swenson

> Executive Director

> Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL)

>

>

> Main: 801.465.1145

> Fax: 801.465.6972

> Toll Free: 866.265.3434

> email: mikes@usa-all.com

>

> www.usa-all.com

> www.usaall.org

>

>

>

>

Factory Butte area, White Wash Sand Dunes, The Cedar Mountians, Vermillion Cliffs, and several other places are listed in SUWA's latest newsletter as places they have filed for Emergency Closure Petitions with the BLM.

Having just returned from 3 days at White Wash I would hate to see this area closed down. The Cedar Mtns. (Delle) is another area that is already effected, in the last 2 years several trails have been closed. It's still a fun place to ride and very wide open.

Every time I get to ride in a place like White Wash or Hanksville or even Delle, I am in awe of the landscape and feel blessed that there is a trail that brings me to these places. For the most part I stick to the trails nor do I want to see tire tracks on every hillside. I think, like a lot of people, I want to be able to continue to ride these places, but I also want the natural beauty to be protected and unchanged.

As always it's the actions of a few that effect many. Ride with respect. For the land, and for others.

With more people using GPS, trailblazing is getting easier. The downside is more trails in places that SUWA can see with satalite photography. IMO, 2 wheels are less destructive than 4. But they both leave trails that can be seen from the sky, especially in the Factory Butte area where a tire track looks black against the grey clay.

I've been riding dirt bikes since 1976 and have seen most of the places I used to ride closed, due to Urban sprawl in the east and southeast. In the west it's been mainly from Environmental groups responding to OHV abuse. What's an old biker to do?

I'm more inclined to join USA-ALL, I don't want to see more places closed!

RIDE WITH RESPECT, don't be a dumbass.

When the tourists, pull over, take off their sunglasses, get out of their SUV's, get their sandles dirty and walk further than 10 feet off the road for more than pee or picture I would figure that greenie groups shouldn't have much say. Can't say I have ever seen anyone except an off-roader or rock-hounder enjoying the backcountry between Hanksville and Cap. Reep? Besides there aren't any "view area" signs to tell the tourists that what they are driving through is worth looking at.

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