The very public debate about restricted public lands erupted into protest again on Saturday as dozens of people on motorcycles and ATVs rumbled across off-limits Bureau of Land Management trails in Southern Utah—but this time, they weren't met with any federal opposition.
The protesters, including Ryan Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, drove about one mile into Recapture Canyon, near Blanding, Utah, and then rolled to a rally that was attended by hundreds of people.
Cliven Bundy famously stood his ground against federal agents in his own Nevada protest and became a media celebrity on Fox News; that is, until video of Bundy's racial tirades was discovered.
Recapture Canyon in Utah is open to hikers and horseback riders, but has been closed to motorized vehicles since 2007.
Saturday's protesters shouted that the federal government wasn't the "supreme authority" as they rolled past a team of quietly-watching BLM officers and local law enforcement.
Recapture Canyon is home to dwellings, artifacts and burials left behind by Ancestral Puebloans 2,000 years ago..
"Illegal ATV use within Recapture Canyon may have damaged many of these archaeological resources—all of which hold the history and tell the story of the first farmers in the Four Corners region" of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma said in a statement.