Dear Editor:

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman has publicly announced his intention to violate federal law by staging an ATV rally in Recapture Canyon which is closed to motorized vehicle use. He also openly encouraged others to do the same.

BLM Ranger/cops spend a lot of time going around trying to catch people for traffic violations, camping infractions, drinking and minor drug offenses, and the like. Folks with these offenses incur criminal charges and the possibility of having their gear, boats or vehicles confiscated.

Mr. Lyman’s stated criminal intent is not only much more serious from a resource perspective than any of the above, it is also in direct contempt and defiance of the law and BLM’s authority to enforce it.

Consequently, the BLM must take all reasonable and necessary steps to enforce the law. On May 10th, the BLM should be present at Recapture Canyon in force, and bring plenty of cameras and notepads. Rangers should inform riders of the potential maximum penalties for willfully violating the law. Names of the riders and identifying information about their toys (license plate, make, model, etc.), should be recorded, and photographs taken.

Each and every person who intentionally breaks the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent, including confiscation and forfeiture of all offending vehicles.

The BLM wisely avoided a confrontation with Cliven Bundy, the idiot, racist, welfare rancher, and his tin-foil hatted pals. He must also be prosecuted to the fullest extent. The turn public-into-private land people think they have support and momentum. If the BLM sits back and allows Lyman’s “message ride” to take place without any consequence, they might as well forget about enforcing anything, anywhere.

BLM – Stand Our Ground, Don’t Capitulate on Recapture

The letter is also directed to the vast majority of folks in Grand and San Juan Counties who appreciate that the continued protection of our public lands is vital to the future social and economic well-being of this area. Prove it by showing up in mass on May 10th to help support the BLM and protect our public lands.

Steve Russell,