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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR


BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
CANYON COUNTRY DISTRICT
MONTICELLO FIELD OFFICE

RECAPTURE CANYON PROTEST RIDE


OPERATIONS PLAN
LA

MAY 8-10, 2014


CONFIDENTIAL
LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE FOIA EXEMPT 7A-73

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RECAPTURE CANYON PROTEST RIDE


OPERATIONS PLAN
May 8-10, 2014
GENERAL
San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman has proposed, and is planning to lead, an illegal,
unauthorized ATV/OHV ride in Recapture Canyon on May 10, 2014. Lyman initially proposed the
illegal ride on his Facebook page on March 2nd, 2014. Since the initial posting, Lymans proposal
has garnered a great deal of national and local media attention. The exact number of participants
is unknown at this time but it is expected to be greater than 150 riders based on past protests. At a
San Juan County Commission meeting it was mentioned that the number of riders could be closer
to 15,000, but there is no intelligence showing this to be a realistic number.
Recapture Canyon is located on public land just outside the city of Blanding, Utah. The canyon
contains numerous archaeological sites ranging from midden on the canyon floor to cliff dwellings
on the canyon walls. Recapture is closed to motorized vehicles and has been a subject of debate in
the area. ATV enthusiasts want to build and maintain an ATV trail through the canyon while
environmental groups want to keep the canyon closed to such use. San Juan County currently has
a right of way application in with the BLM for the construction and maintenance of a trail in
Recapture Canyon but a decision has not yet been made as to whether or not this ROW will be
granted.
There is a great deal of concern over how many and what types of user groups will be present on
May 10th. In addition to the motorized vehicle enthusiasts, it is believed that the Great Old Broads
and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance may possibly be on site as well. If this is the case, they are
almost certain to try and stop the ride. Additionally, it is highly likely that so called States Rights
advocates or members of certain militia groups may be at the protest ride as well. This is of
concern to the BLM and San Juan County as the proposed ride is following on the heels of the
Bundy cattle impound in Nevada. If these groups are on scene the possibility of physical
confrontations are almost certain. Every effort will be made to keep these groups separate.
BLM Law Enforcement Rangers are coordinating with managers on the local and state level, the
BLM Solicitor and the United States Attorneys Office. Rangers are also working closely and
communicating with San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge.
The San Juan County Sheriffs Department will have a command post set up and have officers on
horseback and foot throughout the canyon. Approximately 20 deputies will be working the event.
Deputies from Grand and Kane Counties will also be available to assist if necessary. Initial
information shows Lyman plans to start the ride at Recapture Reservoir and ride down the canyon.
This is subject to change.

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LAW ENFORCEMENT STAFF


The following Rangers are assigned to the event.
Jason Moore Canyon Country District Ranger
Greg Meuth Monticello Field Staff Ranger
Bill Stoner Monticello Field Staff Ranger
Dan Barnes OLES Special Agent
Additionally, if the need arises, the following Rangers are stationed nearby and available to assist,
but are not assigned to the event. The need for additional assistance will be determined by the
District Ranger. Response times will vary from one to three hours.
Tyler Fouss Field Staff Ranger Canyon Country District Moab Field Office.
Don Lum Field Staff Ranger Green River District Price Field Office.
Logan Briscoe Field Staff Ranger Tres Rios Field Office Dolores, Colorado
Sean Waggoner Ranger Tres Rios Field Office Dolores, Colorado
Scott Watson US Forest Service LEO Manti La Sal National Forest Monticello, Utah
The Moab Field Office will have one to two detailed Rangers on this weekend that will be
available to assist if needed.

COOPERATING AGENCIES
San Juan County Sheriffs Office
435-587-2237
San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge
Chief Deputy Alan Freestone

LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS/PRIORITIES


Employee Safety
Above all else, law enforcement efforts will focus on personal and employee safety. Rangers will
provide security at the Monticello Field Office during office hours on May 8th, and 9th. The
original date of protest ride was scheduled for May 8th and there is some concern that
protestors may arrive at the office on that day or May 9th.
ABSOLUTELY NO BLM EMPLOYEES, other than law enforcement, will be present at the protest
ride on Saturday May 10th. There will be no trail monitors set up on the rim of Recapture
Canyon or at any access points. BLM employees will not be present at government facilities on
Saturday May 10th with the exception of the Kane Gulch Ranger Station. Employees at Sand
Island will not be present there on Saturday May 10th. Ranger Stoner and SA Barnes will be
patrolling in the vicinity of Recapture but will not be in the canyon or near the rim of the
canyon. They will be available for immediate assistance if needed. In the event of an
emergency call out for an employee, that employee will coordinate with the District Manager
and the District Law Enforcement Ranger.

Protection of Archaeological Resources


Every effort will be made to document sensitive/significant archaeological sites prior to May
10th. Law enforcement will coordinate with Monticello Field Office archaeologists and
determine which sites warrant the placement of trail monitor cameras. Canyon Country LE has
approximately six cameras which can be set up throughout the canyon to monitor the illegal
riders and their activities at these sites.

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Pre-Protest Preparations
On May 9th, BLM Rangers will meet with the Sheriff Rick Eldredge at the north end of the
Recapture closure. At this time, they will discuss observation points where Rangers can safely
observe and photograph riders illegally entering the closed area on the morning of May 10th.
This may be from an observation point on the adjacent hill or near the trail where members of
the media will be staging. Procedures will also be discussed that will identify escape routes, rally
points and the use of a cover team to provide for the safety of the Rangers on scene in the event
a confrontation occurs.

Documentation of Illegal Protest Ride and Participants


On May 10th, two plain-clothed BLM Rangers will be at Recapture Canyon along with the San
Juan County Sheriffs Department. (Plain-clothed is defined as non-uniform attire that is devoid
of any BLM or LEO insignias or designations. Rangers will be discreetly wearing their firearms
and badges.) The Rangers will remain within close proximity to the Sheriffs personnel, but will
maintain a low-key profile so as not to highlight their LEO-status. Sheriff Rick Eldredge has
stated he will provide for the safety of the Rangers on scene. These Rangers will document the
event and its participants using low profile collection methods, to include discreet
photographic/video equipment on their person to the extent they feel their safety is not being
compromised. To the extent deemed safe, every effort will be made to record license plates,
vehicle descriptions and persons involved in the illegal ride. No citations will be issued on scene
and Rangers will not engage the public in reference to Recapture Canyon or the countys right of
way application. If at any time, up to and during the event, the Rangers feel the situation is
unsafe, they will immediately disengage and return to a safe location which will be determined
by the Canyon Country District Ranger and the San Juan County Sheriff on May 9th. The Sheriff
has agreed to provide any necessary egress assistance if the situation warrants it. A uniformed
BLM Ranger will be patrolling in the adjacent area along with a BLM Special Agent and available
for immediate assistance if requested. These individuals will not/not be visible to the protesters
nor will they engage with those involved in the protest unless there is an emergency.

Civil Unrest/User Conflict


Every effort will be made by the BLM and San Juan County to keep opposing user groups
separated on May 10th. The Canyon Country District Manager and the Monticello Field Office
Manager will stay in contact with representatives from environmental groups and try to
persuade them from being physically present at Recapture Canyon on May 10th. In the event
environmental groups are present at Recapture Canyon on May 10th, the San Juan County
Sheriffs Department will be responsible for controlling and handling any incidents of civil unrest
or disagreements that break out between the varying user groups.

Communications/Public Affairs
The Canyon Country District Manager and the Utah State Office PAO will stage at the Moab Field
office and be available for media inquiries and questions. BLM Rangers will not answer
questions from the media and will refer all requests to the PAO.

MEDICAL RESPONSE
San Juan County EMS: Contact through San Juan County Dispatch
Ground transports will initially go to Blanding, UT
Blue Mountain Hospital
802 South 200 West
Blanding, Utah

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435-767-0517
Medical Flights are stationed in Moab, Grand Junction, Montrose, Durango, Farmington and Salt
Lake City. Requests for these flights will be made through San Juan County Dispatch.

MOBILE VIDEO RECORDERS/BODY CAMERAS


The use of MVR/Body Cameras will be used in accordance to GO 41.
To the extent possible and safe, Rangers will utilize MVRs to document the event with body
cameras.
Recorded media will be retained as per GO 41.

COMMUNICATIONS
Radio Frequencies
Primary dispatch will be through San Juan County.
Secondary dispatch will be through Utah DPS Dispatch in Price on the Abajo frequency
BLM Canyon Country Contact Phone Numbers
Lance Porter Canyon Country District Manager: (435) 210-0920
Don Hoffheins Monticello Field Office Manager: (435) 459-9461
Jason Moore Canyon Country District Ranger: (435) 260-8013
Greg Meuth Monticello Field Staff Ranger: (435) 459-9387
Bill Stoner Monticello Field Staff Ranger: (435) 210-1126
Utah State Office Contact Phone Numbers
Juan Palma State Director: (801) 440-5411
Jenna Whitlock Associate State Director: (801) 503-6254
Dan Love SAC Region 3: (801) 556-3723
Rand Stover ASAC Utah: (801) 592-5841
Eric Boik SCR Utah: (385) 226-1581
Other Important Phone Numbers
AUSA John Huber:
Office: (801) 325-3237
Cell: (801) 7505429
BLM Solicitor John Steiger
Cell: (801) 493-5155

CHALLENGE OF AUTHORITY BY STATE/LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT


If you are confronted, detained, or placed in custody by State or local authorities while engaged in
or on account of your official duties, cooperate, do not resist. Contact the SAC, ASAC, or State
Chief Ranger.

CRITICAL INCIDENTS
General Order 13 will be followed for all critical incidents.
Check list found at end of Utah Collateral Schedule.
Notify Canyon Country District Ranger immediately.

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BLM LAW ENFORCEMENT SCHEDULE


May 8 - 10, 2014
Subject to Change

May 8th
Ranger Stoner will provide building security at the Monticello Field Office from 0730 to
1700.
Ranger Fouss will provide building security at the Moab Field Office. Hours TBD.
May 9th
Ranger Meuth will provide building security at the Monticello Field Office from 0730 to
1700.
Ranger Moore will provide building security at the Moab Field Office. Hours TBD.
May 10th
Rangers Moore and Meuth will document the illegal protest ride at Recapture Canyon.
Hours TBD.
Ranger Stoner and SA Barnes will be patrolling on public lands adjacent to Recapture
Canyon and be available for immediate response if needed. Hours TBD.
May 11th
Security of out-lying facilities will be determined by the outcome of the events on May
10th. This includes Sand Island and Kane Gulch Ranger Stations.

Recapture Assignments
Call Sign

Officer

Patrol Schedule

Cell Phone #

13B61

Jason Moore

TBD

435-260-8013

13B64

Greg Meuth

TBD

435-459-9387

13B5

Dan Barnes

TBD

435-668-0589

13B65

Bill Stoner

TBD

435-210-1126

Assignment
Recapture/Plain
Clothes
Recapture/Plain
Clothes
Roving Patrol/Plain
Clothes
Roving
Patrol/Uniform