Off-roading Flagstaff man charged with damaging national monument

FLAGSTAFF

A U.S. magistrate judge recently sentenced a Fredonia man to three years probation and $7,500 in restitution for damaging the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument with his off-road vehicle. Melvin Mognett, 67, pleaded guilty to off road travel with resource damage on March 29 in federal district court in Flagstaff. The judge also forbade Mognett from recreation on Bureau of Land Management public lands during his probation. A BLM law enforcement ranger patrolling in Vermilion Cliffs near Lake Powell and the Utah border found ATV tracks that went off road for nearly three miles in May 2010. The defendant said he had driven his ATV off road to look more closely at geologic and archeological sites of interest.