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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Utah State Office
 
Release Date: 03/21/14
Contacts: Cory Roegner, (801) 539-4228    

BLM Utah Provides Recreational Access to Wounded Veterans


BLM-Utah State Director signs MOU alongside Shelley Smith (Deputy State Director Natural Resources) and Aaron Curtis (Branch Chief Cultural and Hertitage Resources). Salt Lake City—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah State Office has renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with Disabled Sports USA that will allow wounded military veterans to participate in several multi-day river trips on the Colorado, Green, and San Juan rivers over the next five years. 
 
Disabled Sports USA is a national, non-profit organization established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans to serve the war injured.  The organization offers sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability, including targeted programs for disabled veterans, through its national network of more than 100 chapters in 38 states. 
 
Participation in outdoor recreation activities is proven to enhance persons with disabilities’ self-confidence, physical and mental well-being, and quality of life. Several of Disabled Sports USA’s local chapters, including Adaptive Adventures, Adaptive Sports Association, Adaptive Sports Center Crested Butte, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Challenge Aspen, Colorado Discover Ability, Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, Team River Runner and others, are collaborating with BLM Utah’s Moab, Monticello, and Price field offices to organize the river trips. 
 
"Disabled Sports USA is delighted to continue our relationship with BLM Utah that provides disabled veterans with outstanding recreational opportunities. We thank BLM Utah for their support of the rehabilitative experiences our program offers veterans on public lands and rivers," said Kirk Bauer, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. "This represents a wonderful opportunity to enjoy healthy, outdoor activities in one of the most scenic states in the USA."
 
The BLM and Disabled Sports USA signed a national-level Memorandum of Understanding in 2011to collaboratively provide outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands and waterways for persons with disabilities. This national agreement paved the way for BLM Utah to offer the river trips to interested Disabled Sports USA chapters serving disabled veterans. 
 
“The renewed agreement between BLM Utah and Disabled Sports USA highlights the important role our public lands and waterways can play in supporting the reintegration of our nation’s combat troops,” said Juan Palma, BLM Utah State Director.  “BLM Utah is proud to offer these world class recreational opportunities to those who have sacrificed so much for our country and our freedom.”

BLM Utah Recreation & Visitor Services Program: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/prog/recreation_home.html.
Disabled Sports USA: http://www.disabledsportsusa.org/.

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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Utah State Office   440 West 200 South, Suite 500      SLC, UT 84101-1345  

Last updated: 03-21-2014