It appears that the acting regional director of the NPS has unilaterally decided to allow 'street legal' ATVs and UTVs on all roads open to motor vehicles in Utah's National parks:
This would allow plated ATVs on routes such as the White Rim, Elephant hill and the Needles, the Maze etc. As plated ATVs have been allowed for on road use (outside national parks) in Utah for some time now, this may not seem to be that big a deal. However it is worrying for several reasons:
1. There was no public input, environmental or user impact review of this - it was pushed by some Utah politicians and then unilaterally implemented by the regional director. This is not how things are supposed to work on OUR public lands.
2. My experience has been that ATVs and UTVs cause a significantly higher amount or resource damage than standard 4WD vehicles. I am not entirely sure why this is, but my theory is that these are viewed as toys (and the marketing seems to confirm this) and folks buy these specifically to 'play' meaning they drive them way faster than they would drive their F150 and think much less about driving one up on that outcrop that is 'near' the trail to get a better view, or heading up that wash to see where it goes. It is even worse with the rental ATVs, who seem to have no concept of acceptable behavior on these vehicles.