MOAB, Utah — The stakes are high for competing interests in one of Utah’s most popular red-rock areas.
Over the next nine months, the Bureau of Land Management will decide how much of the area northwest of Moab will be open to off road vehicles.
Dozens of old mining roads crisscross the Labyrinth Canyon/Gemini Bridges area, and under a court order, the government has to decide on a Travel Management plan.
The BLM will host a public meeting with information about alternatives and the chance to ask questions at 5 p.m. tonight, September 22.
Off-road groups like the Red Rock 4-Wheelers are opposed to more restrictions, saying the area is critical for their annual Jeep Safari.
“It’s the largest single event in Moab every year,” said Rex Holman, business manager for the group.
On the other side, environmental groups like the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and people whose love of the outdoors has as much to do with solitude as with adventure.
“I think that's an increasingly important thing to value in this in this increasingly busy world,” said Lauren Wood, Co-Owner and trip director for Holiday River Expeditions.