Officials confirm ‘monolith’ was removed, visitors left behind human waste

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Photo Courtesy BLM

SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Land Management, known as BLM, visited the site where an illegally installed “monolith” had previously been discovered to confirm that an unknown party removed the structure sometime on the evening of Friday, Nov. 27.

The BLM stated they did not remove the structure which was discovered on public lands on November 18.

Despite their attempts to keep visitors from locating the monolith, over the course of Thanksgiving week, the BLM said a relatively large number of people still showed up to the site, which has not been developed for heavy visitation.

“The structure received national and international interest and sparked a dialogue regarding who installed it and what it symbolized, generating widespread attention,” said the BLM in a press release. “The BLM received both positive and negative input regarding the status of the structure and was investigating who installed it when a person or group removed it.”

In this Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, photo provided by Kelsea Dockham, rocks mark the location where a metal monolith once stood in the ground in a remote area of red rock in Spanish Valley, Utah south of Moab near Canyonlands National Park. The mysterious silver monolith that was placed there has disappeared less than 10 days after it was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep, federal officials and witnesses said. (Kelsea Dockham/Canyon State Overland via AP)

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act prohibit any development on public lands without approval by the BLM.

“We recognize the incredible interest the ‘monolith’ has generated world-wide. Many people have been enjoying the mystery and view it as a welcome distraction from the 2020 news cycle,” said Monticello Field Manager Amber Denton Johnson. “Even so, it was installed without authorization on public lands and the site is in a remote area without services for the large number of people who now want to see it. Whenever you visit public lands please follow Leave No Trace principles and Federal and local laws and guidance.”

The BLM said visitors who flocked to the site parked on vegetation and left behind human waste as evidence of their visit. There is no restrooms or parking areas at this site and the BLM recommends that visitors not attempt to visit the site, which has no cell service and requires high clearance vehicles.

Authorities said passenger vehicles have already been towed from the area.

“We remind the public that driving off designated roads and trails in the Monticello Field Office is illegal.”

The Monticello Field Office has a number of remarkable places to explore that have been developed for visitation.

For additional information, please contact the Monticello Field Office at 435-587-1500 or by email at
blm_ut_mt_mail@blm.gov.

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