ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — The U.S. Department of the Interior has been sued over plans to allow all-terrain vehicles in a recreation area in Utah that conservation groups say would be destructive, officials said.
The National Parks Conservation Association filed the lawsuit on Jan. 19, demanding the department prohibit the vehicles in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, claiming ATVs would damage land, increase noise and could enter the nearby Canyonlands National Park without proper enforcement, The Spectrum reported Tuesday.
“Off-road vehicles have been known to wreak havoc on sensitive lands and disturb wildlife,” said Erika Pollard, an association associate director.
The National Park Service said in its final rule for the plans that ATVs within designated areas would provide a new experiences for visitors while protecting the land. The Department of Interior conducted an environmental impact statement in 2017, but the results were not definitive.
Some conservationists have argued there are plenty of existing locations for ATV riders and have pushed to have the Park Service’s plans reversed.
“The National Park Service is not living up to its stewardship responsibilities, giving us no other choice but to take the agency to court over its plan,” Pollard said.
The case is currently pending in federal court in Washington, D.C.