Recapture Canyon

Southwest Life

Recapture Canyon

An illegal ATV trail stirs up cloud of controversy
Lynell Schalk of Bluff, Utah, a retired Bureau of Land Management law enforcement ranger, helped bring the illegal Recapture Canyon trail to the BLM’s attention, but for years nothing was done about it. Damage to cultural sites along the trail has yet to be repaired. The graffiti here is recent, appearing in 2013.
Stephanie Moran of Durango stands in a deeply eroded hole that bisects the illegal ATV trail in Recapture Canyon. Wanting to attract ATV riders to the area, San Juan County is seeking a right of way to maintain the trail.
Photographer Bill Hatcher of Dolores, seen in November 2007, examines the stump of a 300-year-old piñon juniper tree cut down during the construction of an illegal ATV trail in Recapture Canyon. Damage to cultural sites alone has been calculated at more than $300,000.
The illegally built ATV trail in Recapture Canyon stands out in snow in late December 2013. Two volunteers for the ATV group San Juan Public Entry & Access Rights (SPEAR) received misdemeanor convictions, probation and $35,000 in fines for their role in trail construction.
The illegal trail, built in 2006, features this wooden bridge, seen in November 2007. Construction damaged cultural sites and caused the erosion of a prehistoric burial site.
An ATV stile or ramp was installed at the head of the ATV trail. The stile has since been removed.
Recapture Canyon has been considered a “mini-Mesa Verde” with numerous archaeological sites on the canyon bottom and adjacent cliffs, including this site on Recapture’s west side.
Recapture Canyon is almost pristine with distinct wilderness characteristics and difficult-to-access archaeological sites, such as this one where an 800-year-old hand-hewn wooden beam remains in place.
To comment

The Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments about the proposed Recapture Canyon right of way until Jan. 26.
Mail comments to the BLM’s Monticello Field Office at Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office, Attn: Realty Program, P.O. Box 7, Monticello, UT 84535.
Or email comments to blm_ut_mt_comments@blm.gov.

Recapture Canyon

Lynell Schalk of Bluff, Utah, a retired Bureau of Land Management law enforcement ranger, helped bring the illegal Recapture Canyon trail to the BLM’s attention, but for years nothing was done about it. Damage to cultural sites along the trail has yet to be repaired. The graffiti here is recent, appearing in 2013.
Stephanie Moran of Durango stands in a deeply eroded hole that bisects the illegal ATV trail in Recapture Canyon. Wanting to attract ATV riders to the area, San Juan County is seeking a right of way to maintain the trail.
Photographer Bill Hatcher of Dolores, seen in November 2007, examines the stump of a 300-year-old piñon juniper tree cut down during the construction of an illegal ATV trail in Recapture Canyon. Damage to cultural sites alone has been calculated at more than $300,000.
The illegally built ATV trail in Recapture Canyon stands out in snow in late December 2013. Two volunteers for the ATV group San Juan Public Entry & Access Rights (SPEAR) received misdemeanor convictions, probation and $35,000 in fines for their role in trail construction.
The illegal trail, built in 2006, features this wooden bridge, seen in November 2007. Construction damaged cultural sites and caused the erosion of a prehistoric burial site.
An ATV stile or ramp was installed at the head of the ATV trail. The stile has since been removed.
Recapture Canyon has been considered a “mini-Mesa Verde” with numerous archaeological sites on the canyon bottom and adjacent cliffs, including this site on Recapture’s west side.
Recapture Canyon is almost pristine with distinct wilderness characteristics and difficult-to-access archaeological sites, such as this one where an 800-year-old hand-hewn wooden beam remains in place.
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