Sand Mountain, near rapidly-growing St. George, Utah, is a popular off-road recreation area. The area is primarily on Bureau of the Land Management land and encompasses 21,000 acres designated as a Special Recreational Management Area (SRMA) and is an open riding area.
The Sand Mountain SRMA was designated almost 20 years ago by the BLM with specific language in the Resource Management Plan stating the land in the SRMA “…will be maintained in public ownership to provide long-term stability for user groups such as the OHV community who, as a result of urbanization and land use restrictions, have lost much of their traditional open use areas.”
The Sand Mountain SRMA is a popular spot for riders throughout the region and draws participants during the Winter 4×4 Jamboree and the Tri-State ATV Jamboree, among other organized events, from many states; however, its future is in jeopardy.
A proposed land exchange would trade 1200 acres of this open riding area to a private developer and potentially encourage further exchanges and/or restrictions to future recreational activities. The OHV community has lost most of its open riding areas on BLM lands and has compromised away numerous roads and trails in an effort to reach long-term stability and certainty.
BRC believes this is a prime example where past compromises and promises have not provided certainty or security.
A local group– the Utah Public Lands Alliance (UPLA)–has been organized to oppose and defeat the proposed exchange. Visit their website utahpla.com for more details and updates on the proposed land swap.
Follow this issue with us! Your help may be needed to keep Sand Mountain intact. We will ask for your support as time becomes critical.