Recapture Canyon is a calm place of cottonwood shade, sinuous streams, beaver ponds and bird song. Ancient cliffside dwellings and ground dotted with potsherds lend it an aura of quiet mystery.
But this canyon — so close to Blanding, Utah, that locals there consider it their wild backyard — is also the site of a long-standing but escalating anti-federal government, Cliven Bundyesque furor.
On Saturday, protesters plan to drive their ATVs past a “closed to motorized use” sign and into the 11-mile-long canyon to show their disdain for the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to keep that area off-limits to vehicles.
The BLM — after a huddle with the FBI, the Utah attorney general’s office, the Utah Department of Public Safety and San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge — has decided once again to “stand back” and avoid a confrontation as it did several weeks ago on the Bundy ranch in Nevada, Eldredge said.
“It was decided that, at the end of the day, it is not worth it to spill any blood,” Eldredge said of the decision. . .