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ATV Riders, Bundy Son Protest Feds in Utah
Cliven Bundy son is among out-of-state supporters at illegal rally
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2014 6:32 AM CDT
An ATV rider drives through Recapture Canyon, north of Blanding, Utah, on Saturday, May 10, 2014, in a protest against the federal government's control of public lands.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Trent Nelson)

(Newser) – The showdown between citizens and feds over federally administered lands spread yesterday to Utah, where about 50 people took to their ATVs in a protest that sought to reclaim access to a canyon that had been closed to vehicles since 2007. "It’s a county road," says the county supervisor, who organized the ride as a private citizen. "We claim it. Just because (Bureau of Land Management) owns the property, that doesn’t mean they own the right-of-way that exists." It wasn't just locals who showed up for the rally and ride, notes the Salt Lake Tribune: Out-of-town supporters included Ryan Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy. "I came here to re-open a road," he told the crowd.

Nobody was arrested, though BLM officials said feds recorded the ride and intend to prosecute. The road was originally closed to protect archaeological sites in Recapture Canyon; protesters say that decision amounts to caving to special interests, while a spokesman for the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance laments "that irreplaceable treasures of importance to all Americans would be sacrificed on the altar of anti-government fervor."

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Showing 3 of 219 comments
Chris Farley
May 12, 2014 9:07 AM CDT
Some hypocrites commenting on here. It should be a mandate that people have to show if they supported OWS and why and what OWS was doing, before attacking these people doing about the same. Now if you were all for OWS being removed by force in the middle of the night with a no fly zone, while protesting the federal goverment and land rights then your not a hyprocite.
MFolks
May 12, 2014 1:26 AM CDT
I am going to withhold my judgement on this protest. Anyone in this thread who is going off the deep end and calling names, is likely not from the area. I have visited Southern Utah many times and question the value of the unfound artifacts. The road has been closed for seven years (after being open for more than a hundred). Were any archeologists able to find irreplaceable treasures/artifacts? It seems like this would be adequate time to take some sort of survey. The known benefits of using the trail for recreational purposes now should be fairly (and transparently) weighed against the unknown benefit of saving unknown artifacts for a future unknown purpose. Or is the assumption that there could be something and therefore all the property should be roped off from any development ever?
reasonator
May 11, 2014 10:27 PM CDT
What, you think there is pottery and other archaeological artifacts laying on top of the soil on the open trail that could get destroyed by a four-wheeler? Are you going to ban the deer and other wildlife from walking all over it too? The whole notion is pretty ridiculous. This is just a non-reason to close off land from the public, simply out of legalism, not common sense.