Who is really damaging our public lands ATV’s or the BLM?

On May 10th, 2014 over 200 citizens exercised their 1st Amendment Right to protest and assemble in Blanding, Utah participating in the Recapture Canyon Protest.  The Bureau of Land Management  (BLM) Utah Director Juan Palma along with a list of other federal employees orchestrated a plan to arrest San Juan County Utah Commissioner Phil Lyman, Monte Wells (the author of this post), and others. Part of the BLM’s plan involved charging some protesters with monetary damages to archaeological sites that the Recapture ATV trial had contact with.  In September 2014 Lyman and…

The BLM’s deception to silence Phil Lyman

Last March Utah’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Juan Palma received praises for his work in Utah when he retired. After five years overseeing nearly 40 percent of Utah’s land, Juan Palma retires Friday as the state director for the Bureau of Land Management. While many state and local leaders would rather evict the federal agency from Utah, they don’t feel the same way about Palma. An easygoing leader who was able to navigate the fraught politics of public lands management in Utah, Palma is respected by environmentalists and oil and…

County Seat TV Video on Protests on Publically Managed Lands Recapture Canyon

by  The County Seat “We will be discussing some of the lesser known that surround this particular case. Tune in Sunday Morning 8:30am on ABC4UTAH or link here to YouTube. The story of this protest in recapture canyon is not an easy one to tell because there are so many layers. I would argue that many of us have misunderstood the entire issue because we lack the experiences that this community has had.”

San Juan County’s 40-year Recapture Canyon right of way

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) granted the San Juan Water Conservancy District a 40-year right of way down the existing Recapture Canyon road back in 1986. This is the road that the Recapture Canyon protest was held on in May of 2014.  The  Water Conservancy allowed Commissioner Lyman and the protesters to use the legal right of way on the road.  The Water Conservancy unlocked and opened the gate so the road could be used. In 2007, at the time of the closure, there was an active placer mine in Recapture Canyon…

BLM Director Juan Palma gave permission for the Recapture Canyon Protest

On May 10, 2014, over 200 protesters from all over the state of Utah and neighboring states held a peaceful protest in Blanding, Utah opposing the abuse and mismanagement of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in San Juan County.  Part of the protest was carried out on a regularly traveled and maintained county pipeline road in Recapture Canyon.  Permission was received from the Water Master of San Juan County who oversees the pipeline.  BLM Director Juan Palma himself gave permission directly to Commissioner Phil Lyman in a phone call…

Utah needs to move beyond 10th Amendment saber-rattling

As I returned home to Blanding, Utah for my father’s funeral, I passed over the Recapture Dam and looked to the south. Almost 30 years ago, my father and I spent a few summers moving cattle up and down that canyon.  While you would occasionally see a piece of Anasazi pottery, that was always a sideshow.  We needed the canyon to graze our cattle as we moved them to the summer pasture on the Blue Mountain. I wonder if in today’s environment, we would be accused of breaking the law.…

Federal Court Rescinds Public Defender for Commissioner Phil Lyman

On Tuesday December 23rd Federal Judge Evelyn Furse rescinded the appointment of a public defender to Phil Lyman.  Furse stated that things move fast during the arraignment phase and things can be overlooked, but after further review she felt Lyman should hire his own counsel. The judge also asked the public defender’s offices to submit a bill for Lyman to pay for services to date. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Huber presented information in Tuesdays hearing  listing the property Lyman owned for example the value of his house.  He also listed Lyman’s income as commissioner, his rental…