Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R652. Natural Resources; Forestry, Fire and State Lands.
Rule R652-160. Department of Natural Resources Wilderness Rules.
As in effect on August 1, 2019
Table of Contents
- R652-160-100. Authority and Purpose.
- R652-160-200. Definitions.
- R652-160-300. Objectives.
- R652-160-400. Gifts, Bequests, and Contributions.
- R652-160-500. Wilderness Surveys.
- R652-160-600. Control of Uses.
- R652-160-700. Commercial Enterprises, Roads, Motor Vehicles, Motorized Equipment, Motorboats, Aircraft, Aircraft Landing Facilities, Airdrops, Structures, and Cutting of Trees.
- R652-160-800. Authorized Motor Vehicle, Aircraft, and Motorboat Use.
- R652-160-900. Grazing.
- R652-160-1000. Structures.
- R652-160-1100. Jurisdiction Over Wildlife.
- R652-160-1200. Access to Surrounded State and Private Land.
- R652-160-1300. Mineral Leases and Mining.
- R652-160-1400. Gathering Information and Water Resources Prospecting.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
These rules implement Subsection 63L-7-101, the "Utah Wilderness Act," which authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to make rules to govern the protection of wilderness. These regulations adopted by the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands are enacted under the direction of the Department of Natural Resources.
1. "Access" means the physical ability of property owners and their successors in interest to have ingress to and egress from State or private inholdings, valid mining claims, or other valid occupancies.
2. "Acquisition date" means the day on which the state received title to land.
3. "Conservation area" means an area that potentially has wilderness characteristics.
4. "DNR" means the Department of Natural Resources.
5. "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources or his or her designee.
6. "Inholding" means state-owned or privately-owned land that is completely surrounded by a protected wilderness area.
7. "PLPCO" means the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office.
8. "Protected wilderness area" means an area of wilderness that has been designated under this chapter as part of the Utah wilderness preservation system.
9. "Road" means a road classified as either a class B road, as described in Section 72-3-103, or a class D road, as described in Section 72-3-105.
10. "Roadless area" means an area without a road, as defined in Subsection (6).
11. "Wilderness" means a roadless area of undeveloped state-owned land, other than land owned by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, that:
(a) is acquired by the state from the federal government through purchase, exchange, grant, or any other means of conveyance of title after May 13, 2014;
(b) retains its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation;
(c) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with minimal human impact;
(d) has at least 5,000 contiguous acres of land, or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition;
(e) has outstanding opportunities for solitude, or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; and
(f) may contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.
12. "Valid occupancy" means an occupancy under a current permit, lease or other written authorization from the State of Utah to occupy land.
1. Except as otherwise provided in the regulations in this part, wilderness shall be so administered as to meet the public purposes of recreation, including hunting, trapping, and fishing; conservation; and scenic, scientific, educational, and historical uses; and it shall also be administered for such other purposes for which it may have been established in such a manner as to preserve and protect its wilderness character. In carrying out such purposes, wilderness shall be managed to promote, perpetuate, and, where necessary, restore the wilderness character of the land and its specific values of solitude, physical and mental challenge, scientific study, inspiration, and primitive recreation. To that end:
(a) Natural ecological succession will be allowed to operate freely to the extent feasible,
(b) Wilderness will be made available for human use to the optimum extent consistent with the maintenance of primitive conditions,
(c) In resolving conflicts in resource use, wilderness values will be dominant to the extent not limited by the Wilderness Act, subsequent establishing legislation, or the regulations in this part.
1. The Executive Director may accept gifts or bequests of land:
(a) within protected wilderness areas designated pursuant to this chapter for preservation as wilderness; and
(b) adjacent to designated protected wilderness areas, if the executive director of DNR gives 60 days advance notice to the governor.
2. Land accepted by the executive director of DNR under this section:
(a) shall become part of the protected wilderness area involved; and
(b) is subject to:
(i) the same regulations prescribed herein; and
(ii) any conditions that were made at the time the gift or bequest was made that are consistent with the regulations.
1. The Executive Director shall develop and conduct surveys of wilderness areas:
(a) on a planned, recurring basis;
(b) in a manner consistent with wildlife management and preservation principles;
(c) in order to determine the mineral values, if any, that may be present in wilderness areas; and (d) make a completed survey available to the public, the governor, and the Legislature.
All wilderness areas will be open to uses consistent with the Utah Wilderness Act and consistent with the preservation of their wilderness character and their future use and enjoyment as wilderness. To the extent not limited by the Utah Wilderness Act, subsequent legislation establishing a particular unit, or the regulations in this part, the Executive Director may prescribe measures necessary to control fire, insects, and disease and measures which may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons or damage to property and may require permits for, or otherwise limit or regulate, any use of wilderness, including, but not limited to camping, campfires, recreation, and grazing of livestock.
R652-160-700. Commercial Enterprises, Roads, Motor Vehicles, Motorized Equipment, Motorboats, Aircraft, Aircraft Landing Facilities, Airdrops, Structures, and Cutting of Trees.
1. Except as otherwise provided in the Wilderness Act or in these rules, and to support uses consistent with the rules, there shall be no commercial enterprises; no temporary or permanent roads; no aircraft landing strips; no heliports or helispots; no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, motorboats, or other forms of mechanical transport; no landing of aircraft; no structures or installations; and no cutting of trees for nonwilderness purposes.
(a) Mechanical transport, as herein used, shall include any contrivance which travels over ground, snow, or water on wheels, tracks, skids, or by floatation and is propelled by a non-living power source contained or carried on or within the vehicle.
(b) Motorized equipment, as herein used, shall include any machine activated by a nonliving power source, except that small battery-powered, hand-carried devices such as flashlights, shavers, and Geiger counters are not classed as motorized equipment.
(c) The Executive Director may authorize occupancy and use of State land by officers, employees, agencies, or agents of the Federal, State, and county governments to carry out the purposes of the Wilderness Act and will prescribe conditions under which motorized equipment, mechanical transport, aircraft, aircraft landing strips, heliports, helispots, installations, or structures may be used, transported, or installed by the State and its agents and by other Federal, State, or county agencies or their agents, to meet the minimum requirements for authorized activities to protect and administer the Wilderness and its resources. The Executive Director may also prescribe the conditions under which such equipment, transport, aircraft, installations, or structures may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons, damage to property, or other purposes.
(d) The Executive Director may permit, subject to such restrictions as he deems desirable, the landing of aircraft and the use of motorboats at places within any Wilderness where these uses were established prior to the date the Wilderness was designated. The Executive Director may also permit the maintenance of aircraft landing strips, heliports, or helispots which existed when the Wilderness was designated.
1. The use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is authorized under the following circumstances.
(a) Where the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is already established.
(b) Where the motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is used by the Division of Wildlife Resources in furtherance of its wildlife management responsibilities as described in Title 23.
(c) Where the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is necessary for emergency services or law enforcement purposes.
1. The grazing of livestock, where such use was established before the designation of wilderness shall be permitted to continue under the general regulations covering grazing of livestock in the State of Utah and in accordance with any special provisions covering grazing use in units of wilderness which the Executive Director may prescribe for general application in such units or may arrange to have prescribed for individual units.
2. The Executive Director may permit, subject to such conditions as he deems necessary, the maintenance, reconstruction, or relocation of those livestock management improvements and structures which existed within a wilderness area. Additional improvements or structures may be built when necessary to protect wilderness value.
3. The Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food may make regulations as necessary to govern the grazing of livestock on a wilderness area.
Motels, summer homes, stores, resorts, organization camps, hunting and fishing lodges, electronic installations, and similar structures and uses are prohibited in wilderness. The Executive Director may permit temporary structures and commercial services within wilderness to the extent necessary for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes, which may include, but are not limited to, the public services generally offered by packers, outfitters, and guides.
The Division of Wildlife Resources shall have jurisdiction and responsibility with respect to wildlife and fish.
1. In any case where privately owned land is completely surrounded by lands within areas designated by this chapter as protected wilderness:
(a) the private landowner shall be given rights as may be necessary to ensure adequate access to the privately owned land by the private owner and any successors in interest; or
(b) the privately owned land shall be exchanged for state-owned land of approximately equal value.
2. If the School Institutional Trust Lands Administration owns land that is completely surrounded by lands within areas designated by this chapter as protected wilderness:
(a) the School Institutional Trust Lands Administration shall be given rights as may be necessary to ensure adequate access to the land owned by the School Institutional Trust Lands Administration and any successors in interest; or
(b) the land owned by the School Institutional Trust Lands Administration may be exchanged for state-owned land of approximately equal value.
3. If a valid mining claim or other valid occupancy is located wholly within a protected wilderness area, the Executive Director shall, by reasonable regulations consistent with the preservation of the area as wilderness, permit ingress and egress to such surrounded areas by means which have been, or are being, customarily enjoyed with respect to other similarly situated areas.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, until midnight December 31, 2034:
(a) state laws pertaining to mining and mineral leasing shall, to the extent applicable before May 13, 2014, extend to wilderness areas designated under this chapter, subject to reasonable regulation governing ingress and egress as may be prescribed by the executive director of DNR, consistent with the use of the land for:
(i) mineral location and development;
(ii) exploration, drilling, and production; and
(iii) use of land for transmission lines, waterlines, telephone lines, or facilities necessary in exploring, drilling, producing, mining, and processing operations, including the use of mechanized ground or air equipment when necessary, if restoration of the disturbed land is practicable and performed as soon as the land has served its purpose; and
(b) mining locations lying within the boundaries of a protected wilderness area that existed as of the date of acquisition shall be held and used solely for mining or processing operations, and uses that are reasonably related to an underlying mining or processing operation.
(c) Any newly issued mineral lease, permit, or license for land within a wilderness area shall contain stipulations, as may be determined by the executive director of DNR in consultation with the director of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, for the protection of the wilderness character of the land, consistent with the use of the land for the purpose for which it is leased, permitted, or licensed.
(d) Subject to valid rights then existing, effective January 1, 2015, the minerals in all lands designated by this chapter as wilderness areas are withdrawn from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral leasing.
(e) Mineral leases shall not be permitted within protected wilderness areas.
(f) Permits shall not be issued for the removal of mineral materials commonly known as common varieties.
1. The Executive Director shall allow any activity, for the purposes of gathering information about resources, other than minerals, in wilderness, except that any such activity for gathering information shall be carried on in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment. Prospecting for minerals or any activity for the purpose of gathering information about minerals in wilderness is subject to applicable rules.
2. Any person desiring to use motorized equipment, to land aircraft, or to make substantial excavations for the purpose of gathering information about resources, other than minerals, shall apply in writing to the Executive Director. Excavations shall be considered substantial which singularly or collectively exceed 200 cubic feet within any area which can be bounded by a rectangle containing 20 surface acres. Such use or excavation may be authorized by a permit issued Executive Director. Such permits may provide for the protection of resources, including wilderness values, protection of the public, and restoration of disturbed areas, including the posting of performance bonds.
3. Within wilderness, prospecting for water resources and the establishment and maintenance of new reservoirs, water-conservation works, power projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in developing water resources or in the public interest, including road construction may be authorized by the Governor of the State of Utah.
January 27, 2015
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R652, please contact the promulgating agency (Natural Resources; Forestry, Fire and State Lands). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.