A federal appeals court has rejected a claim that a stretch of creek bed in Canyonlands National Park is a public highway and that San Juan County and Utah can prevent the federal government from closing it to vehicles.
The decision, issued late Friday by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, upholds the closure to motorized traffic of Salt Creek Road, an unimproved road that intertwines with the creek bed in the Salt Creek Canyon.
Environmental organizations applauded the decision. Stephen Bloch, of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, one of the groups that filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, said the ruling will protect a key part of the national park.