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Lyman and Wells Appeal

Lyman and Wells Appeal
January 14
10:50 2016

Two prominent San Juan County officials are appealing their misdemeanor convictions for trespassing in a canyon near

Phil Lyman

Phil Lyman


County Commissioner Phil Lyman and Monticello City Councilman Monte Wells filed the appeal paperwork in federal court Tuesday.

Both men were convicted by juries for leading a 2014 protest ride through Recapture Canyon, which the Bureau of Land Management had closed to motorized vehicles to protect ancient Indian archaeological sites.

Wells, a former Border Patrol agent, was also convicted of conspiracy because of his use of social media to promote the ride in his online blog.  He claims he was only reporting on the event as a journalist.

In addition to short jail terms and relatively small fines, Lyman and Wells were ordered to pay $96,000 in restitution to repair damage to the canyon.

While Judge Robert Shelby conducted the trial, he then agreed to step down before sentencing because of a possible conflict of interest.

The case will be heard by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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