Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling around in his grave. Overuse, climate change, budget constraints and invasive species are a few of the challenges our National Parks are facing today. The directive from the Trump Administration to allow off highway vehicle access to all roads in Utah’s National Parks goes right to the top!
I have personally visited Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks, as well as Dinosaur National Monument. All will be affected by this directive.
Besides hiking and camping, I enjoy mountain biking, snowmobiling and 4-wheeling. These machines are designed for specific purposes and currently all are provided an ample amount of trail systems to enjoy to the fullest. Allowing OHVs on national park roads will be too tempting for many to resist going off-road and wreaking havoc on the terrain, wildlife and tranquility of these amazing natural settings.
I can imagine standing under Delicate Arch looking out into the vast Utah desert and seeing an approaching dust cloud. A herd of angry machines on a rampage, disrupting the calm and serenity for all others. Just a nightmare, Teddy, go back to sleep, hopefully logic will prevail, and this never happens!
– James Schmid