Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Congressman Chris Stewart, R-Utah, issued the following statements after introducing the Southern Utah Open OHV Areas Act:
“Over the last 30 years, areas for recreational access in Washington County have been quickly disappearing. It’s time we draw a line in the sand by keeping the Hurricane Sand Dunes open for riding and under county management,” Hatch said. “Our legislation, the Southern Utah Open OHV Areas Act (S. 837), would guarantee nearly 20,000 acres of recreational access for off-road vehicles. Perhaps most importantly, this proposal empowers locals by entrusting county leaders—not federal bureaucrats—to manage this unique area. It reflects a truly collaborative effort following extensive discussions between all of the affected stakeholders. I strongly urge my Senate colleagues to join us in passing this legislation.”
“This bill is an excellent example of a collaborative process to resolve longstanding land use problems,” Stewart said. “It gives certainty, and entrusts local leaders to manage the Hurricane Sand Dunes. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Hatch and encourage my colleagues in the House to support this bill.”
- Establishes the Hurricane Sand Dunes as a special recreation area and guarantees permanent recreational OHV access;
- It conveys this special recreation area to the county to be managed with certain requirements. For example, the area must be used solely for recreational purposes, specifically including OHV recreation;
- To benefit Utah’s schoolchildren, it allows for presently landlocked school trust lands to be exchanged for lands that are more suitable for future development.