After 10 Years Of Extensive Monitoring, BLM Opens 5,400 Acres To OHV Recreation

June 2019 Powersport News

Hanksville, Utah – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced increased access and off- highway vehicle (OHV) opportunities within the Factory Butte Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) near Hanksville, UT.

The Richfield Field Office has rescinded the 2006 Factory Butte OHV travel restriction after meeting criteria to develop a threatened and endangered species monitoring plan and installing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.  

“We have been monitoring and installing infrastructure over the last 10 years to protect endangered cactus species so that the BLM can enhance recreational access at Factory Butte,” Joelle McCarthy, BLM Richfield Field Manager, said. “We have met all of the necessary criteria. Factory Butte provides nationally renowned opportunities for motorized recreation where families and OHV enthusiasts can play.”

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 play 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 more than 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 southcentral Utah," Larry Crist, project leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Utah Ecological Services Field Office, said. "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 seeks to maintain motorized access to the area while protecting endangered plant species. The BLM, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), has been monitoring these species annually since 2009. To ensure that visitors can maintain access to these areas, the BLM requires cross country motorized users to stay within the OHV open play areas and on designated routes within the SRMA. Maps and information are posted on kiosks throughout the SRMA and are available at the BLM offices in Richfield and Hanksville, UT.

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. Future motorized access is dependent on compliance and continued protection of the endangered cactus species under the Endangered Species Act. You can also get involved by volunteering with the BLM to maintain signage, infrastructure, and provide resource education and safety information to riders visiting the SRMA. 

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. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.

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