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Old January 28th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default Good News from Moab!

BLM Issues Modified Jeep Safari Route Decision
Jan 23, 2008
By:Press Release

Contact: Russ von Koch or Katie Stevens (435) 259-2100

Moab, Utah?January 23, 2008?The Bureau of Land Management?s (BLM) Moab Field Office announced today that it has re-issued its decision to approve the Red Rock 4-Wheelers permit for the Jeep Safari. The permit is valid for five years. The nine day event for 2008 is scheduled to run from March 15 ? 23, culminating on Easter Sunday. The permit also authorizes a much smaller event in the fall that includes a campout. The decision also addresses the issuance of other organized group and commercial permits for the use of the same routes. These routes total approximately 600 miles in length. This decision involves 29 Jeep Safari Routes administered by the Moab Field Office.

The Finding of No Significant Impact/Decision Record is the second one issued by the Moab Field Office concerning the proposed action. On January 23, 2006, the Moab Field Office Manager issued a Finding of No Significant Impact/Decision Record approving the permit and related activities for the Jeep Safari routes. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance appealed the decision to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. In March 2007, the Red Rock 4-Wheelers asked BLM to make two minor modifications to one of the 29 routes covered by the decision, the Flat Iron Mesa Route. The requests were prompted by a portion of the route being closed by construction of a fence across private land and the group?s desire to use the Flat Iron Mesa Road for better access. Flat Iron Mesa is located about 15 miles south of Moab in San Juan County between U.S. Highway 191 and Hatch Wash.

Shelley Smith, Acting Moab Field Office Manager, said, "The two route modifications on Flat Iron Mesa, together encompassing a net gain of 1.3 miles over existing roads, resolve the issue with the private land fence and provide more efficient use of existing routes. The modifications have no overall change in impact because all permitted users are required to drive on regularly used roads available to the general public."

The Interior Board of Land Appeals set aside the January 23, 2006, decision and remanded the case to the BLM so that it could consider the requested changes to the Flat Iron Mesa route. The decision is being issued to again approve the proposed action as analyzed in the Environmental Assessment, and to make the two minor modifications to the Flat Iron route requested by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. These modifications are described in detail in the FONSI/DR. In all other respects, this decision is the same as the FONSI/DR issued on January 23, 2006.


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