It’s Time to End the National Park Service’s Arbitrary Ban on Street-Legal OHVs

IntrepidXJ

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They are already tearing up the roads on BLM and National Forest Lands, so why not have them tear up the roads in National Parks, too...

https://lymanforutah.com/its-time-t...-services-arbitrary-ban-on-street-legal-ohvs/

Last week I sent a letter to Deparment of Interior Secretary Bernhardt asking him to issue a Secretarial Order to remove the National Park Service’s ban on street-legal OHVs. Just last week, Secretary Bernhardt issued a similar Secretarial Order to allow e-bikes in National Parks. Much of the reasoning for allowing electric bikes applies equally to OHVs:

  • Both forms of recreation increase access to those facing limitations stemming from age, illness, disability or fitness.
  • Both forms of recreation face uncertainty about their regulatory status, which has led Federal land management agencies to impose restrictive access policies that are inconsistent with State and local regulations.
The Secretarial Order states that E-bikes shall be allowed where other types of bicycles are allowed. This is the same reasonable request that I am making along with some of Utah’s leading advocates for expanding off-road access including UTV Utah and Utah OHV Advocates: We believe that street-legal OHVs should be allowed where other types of vehicles are allowed. In most cases this will involve allowing street-legal OHVs to drive on paved roads to trail heads or on the state highways that pass through parks.

While our request is reasonable, the justification used by the National Park Service for the ban is discriminatory, arbitrary, and capricious.
 

Pianomover

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IntrepidXJ

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Pretty much all you need to know about this clam is right there in his bio.

“Phil has been on the front lines to protect his county from the overreaching federal government when it comes to issues of land use and management.”

Yeah, and now there's someone in charge that might actually listen.
 

balzaccom

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Read his "business card" post. Clearly he believes that locals should be able to freelance their own explorations of archeological sites and keep the artifacts they find. And he viilifies the LEO who acted to stop this practice.
 

Jackson

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It's not an arbitrary ban at all.

And the accessibility argument seems very weak to me. How often do you see elderly or handicapped people bumping around in OHVs? And if this effort he's making is almost entirely just for "paved roads," as they say, how would OHVs make anywhere any more accessible than a regular car would?

I'd really like to avoid adding noisy caravans of UTVs to the bustle of already noisy and crowded national parks.
 

Pianomover

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It's not an arbitrary ban at all.

And the accessibility argument seems very weak to me. How often do you see elderly or handicapped people bumping around in OHVs? And if this effort he's making is almost entirely just for "paved roads," as they say, how would OHVs make anywhere any more accessible than a regular car would?

I'd really like to avoid adding noisy caravans of UTVs to the bustle of already noisy and crowded national parks.
The PCT runs close to where I live at every trailhead it’s posted very clearly that no bikes or horses are allowed on the trail. At least 50% of the time I run into either bikes or pack animals. When I point out they are not allowed the huffing and indignation is over the top. There are miles of bike and pack trails within a stones throw.
 

Pianomover

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Read his "business card" post. Clearly he believes that locals should be able to freelance their own explorations of archeological sites and keep the artifacts they find. And he viilifies the LEO who acted to stop this practice.
Looks like he has the local “constitutional” sheriff on his side.
 

Dan_85

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The PCT runs close to where I live at every trailhead it’s posted very clearly that no bikes or horses are allowed on the trail. At least 50% of the time I run into either bikes or pack animals. When I point out they are not allowed the huffing and indignation is over the top. There are miles of bike and pack trails within a stones throw.

Equestrian use on the PCT is legal and permitted. A handful of people thru-ride it each year and the PCTA provide info on taking horses on the trail.
 

Jackson

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That happened quickly. I guess we'll have to wait and see if it's as bad as we expected... Hopefully people stick to their passenger vehicles for the most part.
 

JulieKT

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I think you’re right, most tourists would be in cars. I can definitely see a lot of locals where I live purposely running their ATVs all over the nat’l park roads because that darned federal gubmint can’t tell them how to live, by golly. Meh. We’ll see how it all pans out eventually.
 

Pianomover

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“In a Sept. 2 letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, Lyman wrote that he is "offended" that the park service discriminates against off-highway vehicle owners, noting than nearly all of Utah's national parks are accessed from state and county roads.”

He’s “offended”? I thought liberals were the snowflakes.
 

Kullaberg63

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‘We’ll see how it all pans out eventually’ soneone said above. Come on down and experience Moab rn until late November and you will see how it already panned out. Not fucking good.

The Parks are currently the only accessible areas to seek refuge from a literal invasion of UTV’s, owned or rented.
 

Pianomover

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Again the protection seems to be in the determination of what is street legal. The continued reduction in NPS staff and having the added burden of policing potential violators seems like a no-win situation for those opposed to this legislation.
 

Jackson

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‘We’ll see how it all pans out eventually’ soneone said above.
That was me. Thanks for the inside info. I wondered if maybe less people than we feared would end up on the roads there. Very disappointing to hear that that's not the case.

I rode in a UTV for the first time a few weeks ago. Not keen on ever doing it again. The experience made me nauseated. Bumpy, constantly vibrating, loud machines. And if you're not at the front of the line, you get to eat dust and breathe gas exhaust the whole way. I know everyone is able to hold their own opinions and do what they enjoy, but for me, I can't think of many less pleasant ways to recreate outdoors.

Edit: whoops! I guess it wasn't me that said that exact phrase, but what I said was to the same effect.
 
Last edited:

JulieKT

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‘We’ll see how it all pans out eventually’ soneone said above. Come on down and experience Moab rn until late November and you will see how it already panned out. Not fucking good.

The Parks are currently the only accessible areas to seek refuge from a literal invasion of UTV’s, owned or rented.
I meant, we will see how the plan to allow ATVs/UTVs onto backroads of Utah's national parks will pan out, as in, what will really happen. The article said "may be allowed," which sounded a bit vague, so I'm wondering how the backlash about it will affect whether or not it actually is put into place. I plan to ask friends who work for the NPS in Utah and see if they know anything or can talk about it.
 
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