SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Yesterday evening, Rally on the Rocks (ROTR) and BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) sent a demand letter to Grand County requesting the County comply with the law by ending the ban on business and special event licenses that unlawfully violates the rights of vendors, enthusiasts, and users of OHVs. The letter outlines numerous problems with Grand County Resolution 3245 (2020), the City of Moab Resolution No. 41-2020, Ordinance No. 597 (2019), and the Findings of Impact, Denial of the 2021 Rally on the Rocks Special Event Application, and Notification that a Special Event Permit is Required to Run Organized Guided Trail Rides on Public Lands in Grand County.
ROTR and BRC claim that the actions by the county contravene Utah state law that protects street-legal access of OHVs. ROTR and BRC also claim that actions by the county violate Utah Zoning laws as well as the Utah and US Constitutions.
The Ordinance and Regulation, and thus the Denial, are violations of both the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Utah, which protect free speech, life, liberty and property, and the freedom to assemble. In addition to violating Freedom of Speech, the Ordinance and Regulation also violate due process rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
As an event that draws visitors from over forty states and foreign countries, Grand County’s actions also impose an undue burden on interstate commerce, and thus violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“It was harder to find state laws and Constitutionally protected rights that weren’t violated by the actions of Grand County, than it was to find numerous ways that these actions were the worst of the worst when it comes to sound public policy,” BlueRibbon Coalition Policy Director, Ben Burr said. “Cancel Culture politics have no place in Utah, and we hope that Grand County leaders will recognize the recklessness of the path they have chosen and reconsider the denial of the Rally on the Rocks permit. We recognize that challenges come with Grand County’s explosive growth in outdoor recreation tourism, but we also recognize that Utah State Law and the U.S. Constitution weren’t written to maximize government convenience – they were written first and foremost to protect fundamental rights. Solving these challenges will require responsible leadership, patient cooperation, authentic inclusiveness, and something better than the blunt, misguided application of government force.”
“We have spent years pouring blood, sweat, and tears into building Rally on the Rocks as one of the most successful OHV events in Utah,” Rally on the Rocks founder, Lanse Chournos said. “To see all this hard work threatened by government leaders when we haven’t broken a single law is tough to swallow. We have bent over backwards to find ways to work with Grand County, but somehow County leaders always find a way to turn reasonable suggestions into unenforceable, unreasonable demands. We hope the County will reconsider its unlawful ban of our event, so we can continue to work together to build Moab into a world-class destination for off-road adventure.”
ROTR and BRC request that Moab respond to the serious concerns raised by the demand letter within ten days, so ROTR organizers can have adequate time to plan and operate the event if the ban on OHV special event permits is rescinded.
The full demand letter can be read here: https://www.sharetrails.org/3d-flip-book/rally-on-the-rocks-demand-letter/
BRC and ROTR have created a donation page for those who want to support this challenge to Grand County’s unlawful actions against OHV users: https://secure.anedot.com/blueribbon-coalition-sharetrails/rotr