Judge Says Angel Arch Road Closure Warranted | Deseret News

By Wendy Leonard

May 27, 2011

A federal judge on Friday sided with the National Park Service, which erected a gate to block motorized access to the Canyonlands’ popular Angel Arch more than a decade ago.

The gate, which went up in 1998, was deemed legal and justified by U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins, who wrote in his decision that San Juan County and state officials had failed to establish proof that the dried-up Salt Creek Canyon river-bed ever had a history of continuous use.

Read full story | Deseret News

Feds, Utah Vow to Settle Fight Over Dirt Roads | KSL.com

By Paul Foy, AP Writer

July 31, 2010

“For decades, state and federal officials across the West have locked horns over who rightfully controls countless dirt roads that cross federal lands.

Now, the federal Bureau of Land Management is inviting Utah officials to sit down and negotiate the dispute.

On Friday, BLM director Bob Abbey laid out a roadmap for talks, suggesting officials start first in Iron County and take the easiest roads to resolve in open, transparent negotiations.

Abbey said he was acting at the direction of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and taking up a challenge originally proposed by the Utah Association of Counties.”

Read full story | KSL.com

Trial Over Canyonlands Road Begins | Deseret News

By Emiley Morgan

September 15, 2009

“Dave Bronson’s high-school years were marked by group Jeep trips to Angel Arch and swims in Salt Creek. He went alone, with family and with friends. There was even a student council outing to the popular site. He said that, growing up, it was the place to be.

“It was a social thing,” Bronson said. “Everyone in town had a Jeep, and that was one of the great things to do. Salt Creek was just more of a fun area. You had the water, and the main thing was to see Angel Arch.”

Bronson said he returned to the site year after year, until the National Park Service gated Salt Creek Road, barring public access, in 1998.

That closure and the rights to the road are at the heart of a five-year dispute between locals and the federal government that will now be decided by a judge.

Bronson, a San Juan County surveyor, was in court Monday talking about his memories of the area, as well as his experiences surveying the site.”

Read full story | Deseret News

San Juan Wants Road in Salt Creek Opened | Deseret News

By Donna Kemp Spangler

June 18, 2004

“A federal judge is being asked to unlock Salt Creek Canyon road, a controversial closed-off route inside Canyonlands National Park.

San Juan County earlier this week filed a complaint before U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Jenkins seeking to force the National Park Service to reopen the road — closed to vehicles for the past six years — into Angel Arch Canyon, one of the most spectacular scenic areas in the park.

In its complaint, San Juan County contends the road existed before Congress created Canyonlands National Park in 1964. The county, therefore, contends the road is a county road under a federal Mining Law of 1866, also known as RS 2477, which granted counties rights of way across public lands.”

Read full story | Deseret News