BLM opens 5,400 acres to OHVs near Hanksville

The Bureau of Land Management announced May 22 increased access and off- highway vehicle opportunities within the Factory Butte Special Recreation Management Area near Hanksville. The Richfield Field Office has rescinded the 2006 Factory Butte OHV travel restriction after meeting criteria to develop a threatened and endangered species monitoring plan and installing infrastructure to protect endangered cactus species, according to a press release from the agency.

“We have been monitoring and installing infrastructure over the last ten years to protect endangered cactus species so that the BLM can enhance recreational access at Factory Butte. We have met all of the necessary criteria,” said Joelle McCarthy, BLM Richfield field manager.

Two OHV “play areas” have been subject to temporary travel restrictions until certain monitoring and infrastructure requirements were in place: Factory Butte (5,300 acres) and Caineville Cove (100 acres). After meeting the criteria, those areas are now available for motorized use. Additionally, riders can continue to enjoy cross-country riding at Factory Butte within the Swing Arm City OHV Play Area (2,602 acres), as well as over 200 miles of designated routes in the area.

“We have worked closely with the BLM to conserve the rare and endangered plants found exclusively in south-central Utah,” said Larry Crist, project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Utah Ecological Services Field Office. “We support lifting the restriction order and will continue to work with the BLM to ensure recreation and conservation activities here remain compatible and sustainable.”

The BLM asks visitors to the Factory Butte SRMA to ride by the rules and stay on designated routes when riding outside of the open areas.

If you have questions, or would like to know more about opportunities for riding or volunteering at Factory Butte, visit the Henry Mountains Field Station in Hanksville, at 380 South 100 West, or call (435) 542-3461.