DOZENS RIDE ATV’S INTO RESTRICTED SITE IN BLM PROTEST!

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) ATVs make their way through Recapture Canyon, which has been closed to motorized use since 2007, after a call-to-action by San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman on Saturday, May 10, 2014, north of Blanding.

(Salt Lake Tribune) Fed up with federal control over lands their families have used for generations, dozens of Blanding residents along with out-of-town supporters Saturday drove ATVs into Recapture Canyon, a nearby trove of prehistoric sites the Bureau of Land Management closed to motorized use seven years ago.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman, acting as a private citizen, organized the event, which started with a rally in Blanding’s Centennial Park, to protest what he and more than 200 supporters call federal “overreach” into local jurisdiction. Prompting the protest was BLM’s failure to process San Juan County’s applications for ATV rights-of-way in Recapture, although resentment with the federal agency here runs much deeper and wider than the canyon that parallels Blanding a few miles to the east.

BLM officials said they were disappointed protesters broke the law Saturday, adding that federal officers were present in the canyon recording riders and gathering evidence.

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