Chief Sponsor: Michael E. Noel

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


10     General Description:
11          This concurrent resolution supports access and recreation on lands administered by the
12     Bureau of Land Management in Utah.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     supports expanding state and local influence over motorized access and recreation
16     on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM);
17          ▸     supports a "no net loss" policy for current and future travel planning;
18          ▸     requests the BLM to provide a public review and comment period for new
19     transportation and travel management guidance; and
20          ▸     supports funding a full-time employee to work on behalf of the counties that the
21     new travel plans affect.
22     Special Clauses:
23          None

25     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
26          WHEREAS, Utah's citizens depend on the ability to access and use federally managed
27     lands for essential commodities and functions, ranging from timber and water to recreation and

28     commercial activities that provide economic benefits to the state and local communities;
29          WHEREAS, over the last three decades, the ability of citizens to use motorized travel
30     for access and recreation on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed lands in Utah has
31     been drastically reduced;
32          WHEREAS, recent BLM planning decisions cut road and trail access roughly in half,
33     while greatly expanding areas set aside for the exclusive use of citizens who seek a
34     nonmotorized experience;
35          WHEREAS, commercial use of BLM managed lands in Utah has been severely
36     reduced;
37          WHEREAS, the 2008 BLM land use plan dramatically reduced lands available for oil
38     and gas development;
39          WHEREAS, before 2008, 43% of the BLM Moab Field Office was limited or closed to
40     oil and gas activity, increasing to 77% after 2008;
41          WHEREAS, a coalition of environmental groups is challenging land use and travel
42     management plans for the BLM's Kanab, Moab, Monticello, Price, Richfield, and Vernal field
43     offices;
44          WHEREAS, on January 13, 2017, the BLM and other litigants filed a proposed
45     settlement in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to settle a longstanding legal challenge
46     to land use and travel management plans on approximately 10 million acres of
47     BLM-administered lands in Utah;
48          WHEREAS, if approved by the district court and subject to other certain court actions,
49     the settlement agreement would resolve eight years of litigation brought by a consortium of
50     environmental groups that includes the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Wilderness
51     Society, and Earthjustice;
52          WHEREAS, if approved, the settlement agreement would require the BLM to revise its
53     travel management plans on approximately half of each of the BLM's Kanab, Moab, Price,
54     Richfield, and Vernal field offices, and planning would be completed under specific guidelines
55     mandated by the proposed settlement as well as BLM's existing and new planning rules and
56     regulations;
57          WHEREAS, recently-revised BLM travel planning guidance replaces a longstanding
58     policy of "keeping routes open unless there is a compelling reason for closure" with a new

59     policy of "closing routes unless there is a compelling reason to keep them open," and the travel
60     planning guidance requires the BLM to, yet again, inventory and manage for "Wilderness
61     Characteristics"; and
62          WHEREAS, participation in BLM travel planning is time consuming and expensive for
63     Utah's rural counties and for motorized enthusiasts who often find themselves overwhelmed by
64     the complicated and overly bureaucratic planning process:
65          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
66     Governor concurring therein, emphasizes the need for and supports expanded state and local
67     influence over access and recreation on BLM lands in Utah.
68          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor support a "no net
69     loss" policy for any current and future travel planning. The "no net loss" policy means that, if a
70     federal land manager closes "x" miles of road or trail, then they must provide an equivalent
71     opportunity nearby. The equivalent opportunity shall consist of newly constructed or previously
72     closed routes that provide:
73          (1) opportunities for scenic vistas;
74          (2) challenging terrain for off-highway vehicle and mountain bike travel;
75          (3) connections to other existing trail systems or trails; and
76          (4) specific routes for off-highway vehicle singletrack (motorcycle and mountain bike),
77     ATV, UTV, and full-size 4WD opportunities.
78          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor request the Utah
79     State Office of the BLM to provide a public review and comment period for the revised Travel
80     and Management Instruction Memo (currently known as Instruction Memorandum No. UT
81     2012-066) as well as the draft comprehensive travel and transportation planning programmatic
82     agreement, which would prescribe how travel planning addresses cultural resources.
83          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor support the
84     consideration of a specific line item budget that will fund a full-time employee to work on
85     behalf of the affected counties on the new travel plans.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel