BLM temporarily restricts rope activities in 2 spots near Moab

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jan 06, 2015

MOAB, Utah -- The Bureau of Land Management just announced it’s restricting all rope activities at both the Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges for the next two years.

“All this two years is going to do is to give us time and space to plan and really thoroughly evaluate whether these activities are appropriate,” said BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall.

The rope restriction applies to ziplining, highlining, slacklining, climbing, rappelling and rope swinging.

The activities began to surge in popularity after a group posted a YouTube video showcasing rope swinging at the Corona Arch in 2012. Since then, the attraction has led to some accidents, including the 2013 death of Kyle Stocking of West Jordan.

“We got so many comments from the public that there was the possibility that these activities could be interfering with the experiences of other visitors in the area,” Crandall said. “We have a responsibility to listen to them.”

However, many have also advocated for the continuation of their preferred sports, with some commercial businesses even hoping to provide safe, guided activities in the area.

“This is not restricting the area to hikers, just rope activities,” Crandall said. “They have amazing places that they can have fun, whether its base jumping, rope swinging, climbing. All of these are still available on BLM lands, just not in those two areas.”

The agency will take public comment over the course of the temporary restriction. Based on what they learn, they will decide whether or not to make it permanent.