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BLM says some visitors to 'monolith' harmed public lands

Posted at 9:55 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 00:23:19-05

MOAB, Utah — After the suddenly world-famous "monolith" of unknown origin was removed by an unknown person or group late Friday night, the Bureau of Land Management addressed how the many people visiting it failed to follow some fundamental rules of recreating on public land.

The installation itself, the BLM pointed out, was illegal — although they added that for some, it was "a welcome distraction from the 2020 news cycle." However, the agency did not remove it or call for it to be removed, but was actually investigating where it came from when it vanished.

READ: Monolith removed from southern Utah desert by 'unknown party'

The Bureau was concerned with the fact that the area was not "developed for heavy visitation," yet throngs of people showed up, mostly during Thanksgiving week.

The major issues it pointed out included vehicles parking on vegetation and vehicles driving off designated roads and trails, which is illegal. They also found that some people had left behind human waste, since there were no bathrooms in the area.

The BLM reminded the public that there are "a number of remarkable places to explore that have been developed for visitation." When visiting these areas and any other public lands, they urge people to follow the "Leave No Trace" principles, found here.