Member Updates


Map of Bear Ears National Monument


TORA Members,

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Forest Service recently issued a proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the 1.36 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in Southern Utah. The RMP includes the agencies' plan along with four alternatives for public comment. SEMA is working with the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) to analyze the RMP (preliminary analysis below) and plans to submit comments to ensure the final plan does not unnecessarily close roads and trails to motorized vehicles. The closing date for written comments is June 11, 2024.

President Biden issued a proclamation in October 2021 expanding the size of the Bears Ears National Monument (President Obama first designated the monument in 2016, and President Trump scaled back the size of the monument from over 1 million to 202,000 acres). Since 2021, the BLM and the Forest Service have been working with the Bears Ears Commission, which is comprised of representatives from six native American tribes, to develop a management plan that considers how to balance livestock grazing and recreational activities with conservation and preservation of the restored national monument site.

The RMP would designate two new "areas of critical environmental concern" (ACEC) covering more than 97,000 acres that would be managed primarily to protect natural and cultural resources. Currently, there are currently five ACECs covering 28,975 acres within the monument. The plan also seeks to ban recreational target shooting, limit off-highway vehicle use, and implement strict visual resource designations to limit light pollution and "preserve or retain the natural landscape character." The plan would allow hunting, camping, and hiking inside the national monument.

Listed below is an initial review of BLM and USDA's preferred RMP for Bears Ears (option E), which proposes to close 569,971 acres to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use and designate 794,181 acres as OHV limited to existing roads and trails, along with alternative plans (options B, C, and D) and the current management plan (option A).

BLM table chart of Travel and Transportation Management - Bear Ears National Monument


Based on our initial analysis of the proposals, Alternative B is the best of the five proposals, although this is subject to further review. However, we would likely only support option B with modifications. Alternative B currently provides almost no identified route closures and a lot of flexibility in other areas. 

Below is the Bears Ears RMP, along with the BLM's press release:
BLM, USDA Bears Ears National Monument Resource Management Plan (678 pages)
BLM, USDA Forest Service invite input on Bears Ears National Monument draft plan

SEMA and ORBA are continuing to review the proposals and seek guidance from the OHV community to identify any additional areas. Please contact Eric Snyder and Tiffany Cipoletti in SEMA's Government Affairs office at and to provide input on the proposals of if you have any questions.