Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for May 27, 2009
Dixie National Forest plan reduces off-trail use
A May 19 plan for the Dixie National Forest will eliminate unrestricted off-trail use of motorized vehicles. The plan is geared to address the increasing number of off-road vehicles in the national forest and limit environmental effects. 2600 miles of routes for ATV''s and other vehicles have been designated as good to go.
"We''ve been collaborating with local governments, user groups and the general public, for over five years," said Kenton Call spokesman for the Dixie National Forest of the plan. "The majority of (designated trails), are those the public wanted."
With over 5100 miles of roads in the forest, only about 20-30 percent are maintained each year. Some routes that people have used before will be closed to protect resources.
"The plan was to benefit natural resources and to reduce confusion for recreations users," said Call. He added the plan is sensitive to people who have valid permitted use on the Dixie, such as livestock grazing. "The designated route system is closed to cross country travel. This better manages natural resources and provides for improved recreation uses."
Call said the Kane County Commission was helpful. "We have a very positive relationship with Kane County."
While Kane has only two areas affected on the Dixie, the southern half of the Paunsaquant and the southern half of Cedar Mountain, the Kane County Commission offered input on the plan. “They do a lot of good work on our behalf, and I believe they are generally supportive."
"While no plan is going to be all things for all people," said Call, "this will help user experience."