City Slickers should leave wilderness rough

by Brent Israelsen

MOAB, Utah - A Hollywood production company has been slow to restore land damaged during the filming of a stampede scene in City Slickers II.


Federal land manager Brad Palmer said the movie crews trampled about 30 percent more acreage than they were supposed to in an area above the Colorado River, just off the Shafer Trail near Canyonlands National Park. The scar is still visible from Dead Horse Point, a state park and popular overlook.


Crews were supposed to rehabilitate the 20 or so acres of damaged ground last fall, said Palmer, who works for the Bureau of Land Management.


"We had to put some pressure on them. We had threatened to go after their bond ... That seemed to help them move faster," Palmer said.


Rick Dalago, location manager for Castle Rock Pictures, which produced the movie, said BLM deadlines for reseeding last fall conflicted with the film company's completion dates.


"We couldn't do it properly (under the deadlines)," Dalago said. "We didn't want to do a half-assed job."


Palmer said Castle Rock crews recently began recontouring the soil and preparing it for seeding this fall.


In the meantime, the BLM has placed a one-year moratorium on filming in that area until "we see some success from the reclamation."


Castle Rock also ran into controversy farther south, where a crew illegally bulldozed a 20-foot-wide road about half as long as a football field. BLM rangers issued a citation to Dalago for illegal road construction. Dave Krouskop, realty specialist for the BLM, said filmmakers created the road to provide a smooth surface for Billy Crystal when he was dragged by a wagon in one scene.


* Brent Israelsen





The writer lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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