UTAH/ARIZONA ATV CLUB

July 25, 2018

Britt Betenson, Archaeologist BLM Kanab Field Office Manager
669 S. Hwy 89A Kanab, Utah

RE: 8110 (LLUTG04000)

Dear Ms. Betenson:


The Utah/Arizona ATV Club appreciates the opportunity to submit the following comments regarding Bureau of Land Management, (BLM) Kanab Field Office (KFO) pending development of a travel management plan for Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt travel management areas. This is the result of a recent court settlement. The club has copied this settlement and reviewing its impacting results. This settlement agreement did not include anyone that I could find representing the interests of the Kane County, therefore, the residents of Kane County reserve further comment about this settlement until we can fully review its entirety. The BLM KFO provided a map regarding the pending development of travel management plans for Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt travel management areas. This map was found to be difficult to interpret. Regarding an invitation of the Utah/Arizona ATV Club to be considered as a consulting parties for these management plans we would welcome the opportunity. The ATV Club would list the representatives from our club which, I believe, would offer insight in the development of the management plans. Please refer all questions to members of this ATV Club Committee, or through the ATV Club elected president. No one else has authority to speak on behalf of the UT/AZ ATV Club. Committee members: 1. Samuel Smith: Telephone: 435 644-8236, email; utazatvclubinfor@gmail.com 2. Tony Wright: Telephone: 435 899-8116, email; tonyandlinda@kanab.net 3. Mark Habbeshaw: Telephone:435 616-8091, email; markh@kanab.net Sam Smith is the current President of the Utah/Arizona ATV Club of Kanab, Utah. He is a 20-year resident of Kane County, Utah. The ATV Club has participated in many community action programs that benefit our community he looks forward to working with the two other members to serve the needs of our membership. Working with both Tony and Mark to give insight in any way possible to the BLM, KFO. Tony Wright was born and raised in Kanab and Kane County. He has extensive knowledge of recreational trails within the BLM, KFO management areas. Mark Habbeshow is a former Kane County Commissioner and has extensive knowledge of Kane County trails and routes and RS2477 information. Notice of Intent: Volunteers of Kane County, local governmental officials and the ATV Club have been working on a draft “Anasazi Trail System” to provide recreational benefit to the public. Some of the routes as indicated on the map of sensitive areas under the proposed Section 106 review roughly superimposed over the currently designated “Kanab Community Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) – Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Management Zone (RMZ)” appears to cover much of this area. This creates a conflict in management purpose and is a threat to the designated SRMS/RMZ. Is the purpose of this Section 106 review process to implement special management prescriptions to protect and prevent irreparable damage to a specific value, resource, system, process or hazard? The purpose of a SRMA/RMZ is to provide motorized recreational opportunities. The ATV Club is concerned that the priority if taken from the Archaeologist point of view, would be conflicting. Taking into consideration the contracted firm: “Logan-Simpson” of Salt Lake, City. For whom themselves are Archaeologists. The ATV Club asserts that there should be mitigating circumstances when fair and open public access is taken into consideration. Again, this may already have been addressed, however, until we can analyze all the related documentation we will continue to be concerned. Should the two land management designations even coexist over the same land area within near identical boundaries? Even if they can technically coexist, future conflict and efforts to use the Section 106 review as a basis for reducing or eliminating SRMA/RMZ features and activities would inevitably occur. The nominated Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt areas is also of concern where it covers areas outside of the Hog Canyon OHV Trail System. The areas outside of the Hog Canyon Trail System, Elephant Cove, Hell Dive, Poverty, East Fork contain motorized routes providing important OHV recreational opportunity and access to other areas from the Hog Canyon Trail System within the Paunsaugunt area. The recent federal court settlement agreement of May 31, 2017 requires BLM to reevaluate the nominated Hog Canyon ACEC primarily “based on the updated visual resources inventory, and any relevant new information that may be available.” Why isn’t the Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt areas not noted as ACEC areas and evaluated as such? The settlement agreement also states, “BLM will reevaluate this nominated ACEC and consider whether additional management prescriptions may be warranted to protect any unprotected relevant and important resources values in the potential ACEC.” The settlement agreement further states, “If BLM determines that any relevant and important resource values in the potential ACEC are unprotected, BLM will establish any necessary temporary management prescriptions to protect those values, as required by BLM Manual 1613…” The Utah/Arizona (UT/AZ) ATV Club defers the above settlement requirements to BLM professionals regarding the evaluation of wildlife, vegetation and cultural resource values meeting “relevant and important” criteria and whether they warrant protection beyond current management efforts. Based on our membership’s knowledge of the area, our laymen’s opinion supports BLM’s evaluation during the 2008 RMP planning process. We do not believe resource conditions have deteriorated since that time because of BLM’s appropriate use of its authority and its implementation of effective management tools to properly protect the area’s resources. Is there actually a problem, what discretion does the BLM, KFO have? The ATV Club are on the trails within the OHV SRMA/RMZ all the time and we do not believe “primary threats” to cultural sites are occurring thanks to BLM’s management efforts and user ethics. In summary, we do not believe any unprotected relevant and important resource values exist in the potential ACEC requiring additional management prescriptions. About the Section 106 review, was the conclusion a justification of the awarding of the research contract with “Logan-Simpson”? Regarding visual resources within the previously nominated ACEC: We support the BLM’s updated visual resources inventory within the citizens nominated VC ACEC. The BLM, KFO has numerous management tools to protect the existing level of other sensitive area values within the Trail Canyon section and Paunsaugunt section. Additional layers of protective management, such as ACECs, appear to be unnecessary and would complicate effective management of the area. We are unaware of “any relevant new information” regarding the reevaluation of the VC ACEC but would appreciate the ability to comment on any new information developed or presented during the evaluation process. Environmental advocacy: Environmentalists had no interest or presence in the Trail Canyon, Paunsaugunt or Hog Canon management areas until the UT/AZ and Canyon Country 4X4 (CC 4X4) clubs began the development of an OHV Trails and the Anasazi Trails system including Staging areas for recreational use. The Vermillion Cliffs ACEC was nominated June 23, 2005 by “citizens of Kane County and Land Use Volunteers of Kane County.” The proposal was professionally prepared and was likely a collaboration between a small group of local environmentalists, SUWA and the Utah Wilderness Coalition. The ACEC proposal refers to the “Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Proposal” in the first paragraph. The wilderness proposal was apparently submitted to BLM by the Utah Wilderness Coalition sometime prior to the citizens of Kane County submitting the nearly identical ACEC proposal. A map of the “Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Unit” appears to mirror the citizens of Kanab ACEC nomination. The ACEC nomination does not request protection for one, two or even several resource values in need of protection, as is usually the case. Instead, it lists a plethora of resource values as one would submit in proposing a “Wilderness” designation. It is our hope that this is not the intent of the Section 106 review of “Logan Simpson”. A shotgun Section 106 review listing of resources in need of protection, for many of our ATV Club members, appears to be an attempt to use a Section 106 review designation to create defacto “Wilderness” which would effectively eliminate or severely restrict OHV and mechanized (i.e. bicycle) use in the area. Does BLM Manual section 1613.33D prohibit Section 106 review designations from being used as a substitute for a wilderness suitability recommendation? When the UT/AZ ATV Club and the CC 4X4 Club originally requested BLM designate Hog Canyon as a OHV recreational area, environmental groups, including SUWA, challenged OHV use in the area. That was their first bite of the apple to oppose OHV use in Hog Canyon. The Vermilion Wilderness proposal by the Utah Wilderness Coalition was their second bite of the apple. The nomination is their third bite of the apple. Does the inclusion of a reevaluation of the Section 106 review in the recent settlement agreement give them their forth bite of the apple challenging OHV recreation in Western Kane County? The goal of environmental advocates is evidenced by one of their conditions in the proposed ACEC, “Closed to ORV use, vehicle use may be permitted on limited designated roads; i.e. roads maintained by the BLM or county…” This proposed condition is in direct conflict with the currently designated OHV SRMA/RMZ. It is important to consider the history, cooperative efforts and financial investments in the SRMA/RMZ during the evaluation of the more restrictive Section 106 reviews: The Hog Canyon area, Trail Canyon and the Paunsaugunt areas is located near to the town of Kanab. Early in the town’s history the springs in Hog Canyon supplied needed water to the community through a wooden pipe system. Historically the area has been used extensively for livestock grazing, wood and fence post cutting, hunting and other common uses. Due to its close proximity to Kanab motorized routes developed within the Hog Canyon area providing local residents ready access to the area for recreational enjoyment. From Hog canyon recreationalist can reach the Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt areas. Families with children could enjoy the area with little travel time involved. Both motorized and non-motorized use of the area increased over the years. A non-motorized trail, the Squaw Trail, was established from the north edge of town to the top of the Vermilion Cliffs to the utility towers. Other hiking trails have been established in the Hog Canyon area over the years. In the late nineties both the UT/AZ ATV Club and the CC 4X4 Club were established in Kanab. Due to the potential long-term local benefits and due to the prospect of future economic benefits to the community the two clubs approached BLM about designating the Hog Canyon Area as an OHV recreation area. When BLM initiated a public comment period, environmental groups, including SUWA, challenged an OHV designation within the area. SUWA and other environmental groups did not prevail, and Hog Canyon was recognized by BLM as an appropriate area for OHV recreational use. Over the years the OHV clubs, Kane County, Kanab, the State of Utah and the community have cooperated and coordinated with BLM regarding the management, protection and use of the Hog Canyon area along with other management areas of the BLM, KFO. The OHV clubs and the county coordinated the installation of trailheads, kiosks and fencing at the west and east sides of Hog Canyon. The kiosks both guided users and stressed responsible use of the area. The OHV clubs have maintained the trail heads and kiosks over the years. Recently, at the request of BLM the OHV clubs arranged for the county road department to do flood control work and install road base on the west trailhead parking area. A few years ago, at the request of the UT/AZ ATV Club, BLM approved a trail head accessing the Hog Canyon area from Johnson Canyon Road. The Ut/AZ ATV Club, BLM and the county coordinated in the development of a large graveled parking area, a kiosk and fencing at Johnson Canyon Road. Shortly after BLM’s recognition of the Hog Canyon as an OHV recreational area, BLM discovered a potential threat to an archaeological site adjacent to a county road traversing the area. In response the county drafted a state law, subsequently enacted, allowing the county to reroute a road under such circumstances. Today OHV users travel the rerouted road, thereby protecting the archeological site. When access to Hog Canyon was threatened by safety issues concerning unlicensed OHVs being operated on State Highway 89, the UT/AZ ATV Club, BLM, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the county, the Kane County Water Conservancy, Kanab, Utah Parks and Recreation, TC Engineering and the community came together to fix the problem. Kanab has developed OHV routes within the town, including a route out of town towards Hog Canyon. UDOT allowed use of the state highway immediately leaving town. The water district allowed travel over a portion of their land. BLM allowed travel across public lands. In order to build a bridge to safely cross Kanab Creek, Utah Parks and Recreation provided a grant of $35,000, the county appropriated $5,000 and Page Steel (Arizona) contributed all of the steel for construction of the bridge and did all of the welding and fabrication at significantly reduced cost. The total cost for the project was approximately $60,000. The UT/AZ Club, the county and BLM engineers have since worked together to assure the stability of the bridge in high flood conditions. This effort has maintained community access to the Hog Canyon SRMS/RMZ from Kanab. Recently the OHV clubs have worked with BLM and private contractors to make the “Mosdell” section of Hog Canyon Trail #1 safer for all levels of OHV operator ability. The project cost $3,000. When a main Hog Canyon route flooded out a few years ago the UT/AZ ATV Club obtained a $9,000 grant from Polaris Industries to purchase several new culverts. The county road department installed the new culverts along the washed-out route. The OHV clubs and the county road department have worked together to maintain the trails in Hog Canyon as needed. State Parks and Recreation has provided a trail cat and training to maintain trail condition along the Pinnacles Trail and for future repair work. As a result of all of this work and financial investment in Hog Canyon not only do local residents benefit but the Hog Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ has become known throughout Utah and beyond. The UT/AZ and the Tri State (Hurricane) ATV clubs use the Hog Canyon SRMS/RMZ for event group rides with BLM permits. Range Rover and Can Am have filmed in Hog Canyon for advertising purposes. OHV enthusiasts from northern Utah, southern Nevada, Arizona and beyond travel to Kanab to enjoy the OHV recreational benefits in the BLM, KFO, management areas, in concert with the Kane County OHV SRMS/RMZ. Economic benefits: Many studies have confirmed the economic benefits resulting from OHV recreation. In Kane County we are seeing a shift from primarily local OHV riders to an increasing number of non-local riders with many visitors coming from out of the region. Like the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, the Hog Canyon OHV Trail System, the Anasazi Trails system and Staging areas (all within the SRMA/RMZ) is becoming a well-known OHV destination. Economic benefits are generally classified into direct benefits - the purchase of gas, food, lodging, parts, repair, etc. and indirect benefits - employees needed to sell gas, food, lodging, parts, the taxes they pay, the houses they need, and the people needed to build those houses or businesses, etc. In 2008, 1303 OHVs were registered in Kane County. That figure is much higher today. Local riders are day users, but they buy gas, oil, parts, accessories and pay for repairs. Non-local riders come for a long weekend, a week, or longer and will spend money on lodging, food, entertainment, as well as gas, oil, parts, accessories and repairs. Though these are not large individual expenditures, they quickly add up to impressive numbers. As an example, an out of area honorary group within the UT/AZ ATV Club (the Circle of Friends) recently calculated that during a month long stay their group spent approximately $80,000 locally. In a Colorado study, it was estimated that an visiting OHV user on average spends $100 per day in services. A few years ago, a small farm community in another state bought property adjacent to town so they could develop an OHV system to infuse dollars into their struggling economy, and it worked. Thanks to BLM, Kane County and Kanab were able to achieve that capability with the Hog Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ. There are not many places where you can ride from town to an OHV trailhead or ride from a trail system into town to your motel room, to enjoy a restaurant, to shop at a market or for other services. The Hog Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ provides that opportunity in Kanab. NEPA planning recognizes the need to analyze local needs when making federal decisions. The HOG Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ has a positive impact on public health, it provides a strong connection to nature, it improves our quality of life and it supports our traditional use of the area. It has an important positive economic impact for the local community. We believe the economic benefits from the Hog Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ, the Anasazi Trails of Kane County supports a decision to not designate a more restrictive VC ACEC over the top of the current Hog Canyon OHV SRMA/RMZ, and we are concerned with the intent of the Section 106 review; because of both the immediate and long-term likelihood of conflict within the OHV areas. Conclusion For the reasons presented in these comments the membership of the Utah/Arizona ATV Club submits that the ATV Club was not aware of the undertaking of the Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act process and its implementing regulations within the management areas of BLM KFO. The ATV Club is concerned as to why the Trail Canyon and Paunsaugunt areas were designated as Section 106 reviews and the Vermillion Cliffs was designated as an ACEC management plan. We are hopeful that the Section 106 review designation would not be inconsistent with the ACEC process; thus, becoming a threat to, the currently designated OHV SRMA/RMZ which is very important to the local community of Kanab as documented in these comments. Please refer all questions to members of this ATV Club Committee, or through the ATV Club elected president. No one else has authority to speak on behalf of the UT/AZ ATV Club.

Respectively submitted:

Sam Smith President
Utah/Arizona ATV Club
P.O Box 167, Kanab, UT 84741 

Cc: Dirk Clayson, Kane County Commission, Chair
Mary Reynolds, Kane County Resource Management Planner
utazatvclub.org

KC Colors 10

Next Meeting

Next ATV Club Meeting, November 21, 2019 (Last one this year)
Location: Kanab Sheriffs Search and Rescue (SAR) Meeting Room
Kanab Airport, 2nd Floor

6:30 PM Dessert Social served. Please bring a dessert and contribute to your Club.
Support "Split the Pot"

Meeting begins at 7:00 PM


Meet the ATV Club's officers for 2019 and 2020.

President: Tony Wright.
Vice-President: Ray Wells.
2nd Vice-President: Linda Wilson.
Treasurer: Betty Herlacher.
Secretary: Patty Kubeja.

Members Input, upcoming rides

Attention all members;
ATV Club Treasurer Berry Herlacher has some great ATV Club T-Shirts, Caps, Patches and bumper stickers for sale. Take a look at the PDF attachment showing the assortment of really nice items.  Hurry up and get your ATV Club memorabilia while supplies last.Please either call Betty at 909 238-5449 or send an email indicating your interest to this email address. 
utazatvclubinfo@gmail.com

Download this link to view items:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vti9Q8NsfIHOXGTn7PdhjnpCB-S-65iN/view?usp=sharing