BLM proposes rule to limit roped and aerial recreation to protect wildlife in Mineral and Hell Roaring canyons


BLM Moab Field Office

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Moab Field Office

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MOAB, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management proposes a rule to protect vital wildlife habitat from increasing encroachment of recreational uses by limiting roped and aerial activities, such as ziplining, slacklining, climbing, rappelling, rope swinging, BASE jumping, parachuting and skydiving in Mineral and Hell Roaring canyons located approximately 30 to 43 miles west of Moab, Utah. The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after tomorrow’s publication in the Federal Register

Wildlife species, including raptors and desert bighorn sheep, depend on areas with limited human presence to have the best chance of survival and to successfully reproduce.

“There are many great opportunities for this type of recreation in the Moab area,” said Acting Moab Field Manager David Pals. “This proposed rule would protect a small portion of the public lands managed by the field office and leave 1.8 million acres open and available for roped and aerial recreation, including the popular Mineral Bottom BASE Jumping Focus Area, Mineral Bottom Airstrip, Corner Tower, and the Fruit Bowl Highlining Area.” 

The remote Mineral and Hell Roaring canyons are accessible mostly by dirt roads. The proposed supplementary rule would apply to 10,044 acres—less than one percent of the BLM-managed public lands within the jurisdiction of the Moab Field Office. 

The Federal Register notice also announces the designation of a portion of the Mineral and Hell Roaring canyons as the Moab Canyons Special Wildlife Area. This new special wildlife area provides important habitat for wildlife, including the Mexican spotted owl, golden eagles, other raptors, and Utah’s only endemic herd of desert bighorn sheep.  

In June 2021, the BLM issued a decision on this project after completing an environmental assessment, which incorporated public input. The BLM thoroughly reviewed, considered, and responded to the 13 comments submitted by the public. The proposed supplementary rule and accompanying environmental documents are available for inspection at the BLM Moab Field Office and on the project ePlanning website

Written comments will be accepted through email, mail, or by hand-delivery until March 31. Please note that the most useful comments are specific and contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments that contain only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but may be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “Mineral and Hell Roaring Canyons Supplementary Rule” when submitting comments.

Mailed or hand delivered: BLM Moab Field Office, Attn: Mineral and Hell Roaring Canyons, 82 E. Dogwood Ave., Moab, UT 84532 

Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware that the entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review may be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

For additional information, please contact Katie Stevens at or 435-259-2100. 

Public domain Mineral and Hell Roaring canyon photos can be found on the BLM's Flickr.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.