By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office
SEMA is asking industry members to contact Congress to protect motorized access to the Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges area in Grand County, Utah.
The SEMA-supported "Historic Roadways Protection Act" (S. 3148/H.R. 6396) was introduced by U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and U.S. Representative John Curtis (R-UT) in response to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) updated travel management plan (TMP) in the Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges Travel Management Area that will close 317 miles of roads to motorized recreationists. Ask your members of Congress to protect motorized access to this enthusiast-favorite area by supporting the Historic Roadways Protection Act. Take action today!
The legislation would prevent the BLM from using federal funds to close any of the 114 miles of R.S. 2477 rights-of-way (ROWs) roads covered in the TMP or to finalize and implement the specified TMPs until all legal actions have been resolved (R.S. 2477 roads are protected by Section 701 of the Federal Lands Policy Management Act). You can view the BLM's updated route map here.
"Motorized access to Utah's outdoors is critical for local economies and recreation opportunities," said Rep. Curtis. "My legislation simply requires that we know all valid historic routes, which is critical to understand what areas can be accessed, before BLM makes further travel management planning decisions."
In 2008, the BLM updated Utah's resource management plans (RMP) and TMPs as required by FLPMA to ensure public lands are being effectively managed. Unhappy with the BLM's first attempts at updated TMPs, several off-road groups filed lawsuits to challenge the agency's plans. In 2017, a settlement was reached that required the BLM to revise 13 TMPs. In 2022, the BLM published four TMPs for the greater Moab recreation area. SEMA submitted a comment opposing the three proposed scenarios that would limit motorized access.
"Protecting motorized access in the Labyrinth Rims Gemini Bridges Travel Management Area is important to thousands of motorized recreationists who visit Moab every year, the local economy, and businesses that manufacture, sell, and install parts needed to upgrade vehicles for OHV use," said SEMA CEO and President Mike Spagnola. "Off-roading is not only a passion for millions of Americans, but it is one of the largest drivers of the $6.1 billion (annual) outdoor recreation industry in Utah, which employs over 67,000 people in the state. SEMA thanks Rep. Curtis for his advocacy to protect motorized recreational access on our nation's public lands. The Historic Roadways Protection Act is critical to ensuring that OHV enthusiasts can continue to enjoy one of the most iconic landscapes in the world."
In addition to advocating for the Historic Roadways Protection Act, SEMA is working with the Off-Road Businesses Association (ORBA) and Ecologic Partners to file an administrative appeal of the BLM's decision.
For more information, contact Tiffany Cipoletti at email@example.com.