SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 48, November 29, 2012

SEMA Joins National Coalition Effort to Protect Motorized Recreation in Utah

SEMA has joined with the Off Road Business Association (ORBA), Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and a number of other motorized recreation groups to oppose designating 1.4 million acres of land in Utah as a National Monument. The area surrounds Canyonlands National Park and is referred to as “Greater Canyonlands.” There is no widespread local or Congressional support for the designation, which could threaten to close off-highway vehicle (OHV) use and shared access.

The President has the authority to declare a National Monument through the Antiquities Act of 1906. This authority has only been used 103 times in nearly 100 years and is typically limited to a small area of land. A number of conservation groups are now pressuring President Obama to designate the 1.4 million acres in Utah as a National Monument and close 1,050 miles of OHV routes and monitor 1,450 miles for possible future closure. SEMA and its Coalition partners urged the President to abandon the idea in a November 15 letter.  

The letter cites the positive economic impact of motorized recreation activities, which accounts for more than $257 billion in annual economic impact nationwide. The Coalition also called for a more collaborative approach to land-use decisions, including input from local citizens, elected leaders and other stakeholders.

SEMA and the Coalition also contend that a Monument Designation would undermine current protections for the land. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park. It has recently completed a new Resource Management Plan that restricts motorized and non-motorized activities to routes that have been subject to environmental analysis and public involvement, making a Monument Designation unnecessary and threatening to the existing process. 

For more information, please contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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