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

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CodyL

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Jan 23, 2018
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This makes me both furious and sad. The Maze will be completely changed if they open this up. All I can hope for is that because it is designated "primitive" by the NPS they will limit the number of vehicles that go in like they do the backcountry permits. I was down there this spring and asked the Ranger at Hans Flat if they would ever do something stupid like pave the road in and he said only if they had a policy change on how it is managed. Looks like I was worried about the wrong thing!
 

Parma

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My understanding is that if your car is allowed on the road, then UTVs are as well, so you'll probably see some UTVs on those roads.
I thought it was only for state and county roads...I don't think Elephant Hill Road is either...but the road into The Maze may be. On a map it's listed as NP633.
And I believe there are only a limited number of vehicles allowed on Elephant Hill per day via permit.
 

Jackson

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I thought it was only for state and county roads...I don't think Elephant Hill Road is either...but the road into The Maze may be. On a map it's listed as NP633.
And I believe there are only a limited number of vehicles allowed on Elephant Hill per day via permit.
From the article:
The move was ordered Tuesday by the the National Park Service’s acting regional director, Palmer “Chip” Jenkins, who directed a memo to Utah park superintendents instructing them to align their regulations with Utah law, which allows off-road vehicles to travel state and county roads as long as they are equipped with standard safety equipment and are registered and insured.
My reading of that bit about state and county roads (which really isn't very well worded) is that it's just saying the new rule is supposed to align federal regulations with state regulations which allow street-legal UTVS on public roads maintained by the state, in an effort to make road access consistent across the board. So now, instead of only being allowed on state and county roads pursuant to existing state law, UTVs are allowed on federally maintained roads in the parks as well, pursuant to this federal law (which actually only comes from a memo by the parks superintendent). I don't think the federal government can call shots like this on state and county roads since they don't have power over them, and the state and county roads were already open to UTVs as long as they're street legal.

That's a good deal on the permits for Elephant Hill though. I wasn't aware of that. Good to have a cap when it stands to get messed up by overuse.

Edit: Here's some language from a KUTV article that I think shows what I meant.
National parks have a policy of following state traffic laws, and in the past decade, Utah law has changed to make certain off-highway vehicles (OHVs) street legal if they’re registered with the state.
So this new rule is an extension of the general policy that state traffic laws, which apply to state and county roads, should apply to roads within national parks as well.
 
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ImNotDedYet

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And they really think people will stick to the roads? Going back in some of those remote areas, odds are they'll never be caught - just as the many people vandalizing arches, kivas, ruins, etc.

I would certainly be disappointed if I was ten miles from anything and had to deal with the annoying sounds of an ATV or UTV. Yet, I still can't fly my drone in a national park.
 

Jackson

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Great news! https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2019/10/25/feds-shift-gears-now-say/

I'm just baffled by Lyman's position.
Allowing off-road vehicles in national parks, Lyman said, is “a symptom of a much bigger debate that should be had.” The main issue, he added, is “the amount of jurisdiction that the federal government feels that they have in Utah, and if they’re bound by any laws, or if they are just a law unto themselves.”
Going forward, Lyman said, “my approach would be to see if Utah has an appetite to assert their existence. I hope they do. I’m always surprised at how willing people are to give away their legal standing in these situations.”
The federal government is exercising its jurisdiction over its own land. Utah still has power over its own affairs.
 
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Bob

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Why is a street legal utv any different than a street legal motorbike
 

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