As of Monday (April 10), recreational vehicles are welcome to ride through the sacred tribal land of Recapture Canyon in San Juan County, Utah.
The Bureau of Land Management announced a “travel management plan” that will provide roughly seven miles of trails for full-size and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to roam ancient Pueblo peoples’ land. They built cliff dwellings at Recapture Canyon over 800 years ago.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said, in a press release, that permitting vehicles is necessary for people with disabilities who need one to visit. “Allowing ATVs and other vehicles in Recapture Canyon will open up opportunities for people to enjoy our public lands while still protecting the cultural and natural resources that make the place special,” Zinke said.
However, the federal agency cancelled vehicle access to the site’s 1,871 acres in 2007 after it suffered damage from unauthorized trail construction and harm to its archaeological sites. In 2014, in an act of protest, opponents to this restriction illegally rode through the area on ATVs with the support of former San Juan County commissioner Phil Lyman, who led the ride.