Illegally installed structure taken from BLM public lands over Thanksgiving weekend
BLM confirms the “monolith” removed by unknown party
SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) confirmed during a site visit on Saturday that an unknown party or parties removed the illegally installed structure referred to as the “monolith” sometime on the evening of Friday, Nov. 27. The BLM did not remove the structure which had been recently discovered on public lands in the Monticello Field Office. Over the course of Thanksgiving week, a relatively large number of people visited the site, which has not been developed for heavy visitation.
The structure received national and international interest and sparked a dialogue regarding who installed it and what it symbolized, generating widespread attention. The BLM received both positive and negative input regarding the status of the structure and was investigating who installed it when a person or group removed it. Any development on public lands must be approved by the BLM and is subject to applicable laws, such as the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
“We recognize the incredible interest the ‘monolith’ has generated world-wide. Many people have been enjoying the mystery and view it as a welcome distraction from the 2020 news cycle,” said Monticello Field Manager Amber Denton Johnson. “Even so, it was installed without authorization on public lands and the site is in a remote area without services for the large number of people who now want to see it. Whenever you visit public lands please follow Leave No Trace principles and Federal and local laws and guidance.”
Visitors who flocked to the site parked on vegetation and left behind human waste as evidence of their visit. The undeveloped area does not have restrooms or a parking lot. The BLM recommends that visitors not attempt to visit the site, which has no cell service and requires high clearance vehicles; passenger vehicles have already been towed from the area. We remind the public that driving off designated roads and trails in the Monticello Field Office is illegal.
The Monticello Field Office has a number of remarkable places to explore that have been developed for visitation. For more information visit: https://www.blm.gov/office/monticello-field-office. We ask the public to please use Leave No Trace™ principles when visiting public lands.
For additional information, please contact the Monticello Field Office at 435-587-1500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question with the above individual. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.