RECREATION Scenarios:
Choices for
the Future

The following scenarios were drafted by the Agriculture, Public Lands, and Recreation Action Team to represent possible outcomes for Utah’s outdoor recreation in 2050. The scenarios differed in the strategies used to respond to the increased use of recreational areas by Utah’s growing population and by the rising number of tourists. The scenarios were presented to the public as part of the Your Utah, Your Future survey in spring 2015.

 

The scenarios were titled Allosaurus, Bonneville Trout, Seagull, Sego Lily, and Quaking Aspen (the state fossil, fish, bird, flower, and tree):

ALLOSAURUS SCENARIO

ScenarioSummary_AL_Rec2.jpg

Utah builds very few new outdoor recreational facilities (parks, trails, campgrounds, picnic sites, etc.). As Utah’s population nearly doubles and demand for recreation increases, we do not create or implement a long-range strategy to develop or maintain recreational areas. As a result, facilities are crowded, overused, and rundown. As population grows westward along the Wasatch Front, no new facilities are built in the mountains on the west sides of the Wasatch Front counties.

The recreation experience in Utah diminishes as there is an increase in crowding, resulting in tension and conflict between user groups. Fewer tourists, employees, and employers are drawn to Utah because of the diminished recreational opportunities.

BONNEVILLE TROUT SCENARIO

ScenarioSummary_BT_Rec2.jpg

Utah invests in outdoor recreational facilities at half the rate needed to keep up with growth in usage. The increase in population, tourism, and per-person use of recreational facilities causes some overcrowding. We do not create or implement a long-range strategy to develop or maintain recreational areas, and we also underinvest in facility maintenance. As population grows westward along the Wasatch Front, few new facilities are built in the mountains on the west sides of the Wasatch Front counties. Trails, parks, and open spaces tend to be disconnected.

The recreation experience is diminished because we build about half the recreational facilities needed to accommodate Utah’s population growth. Tension and conflict increase between user groups, and fewer tourists, employees, and employers are drawn to Utah.

Seagull and Sego Lily SCENARIO

ScenarioSummary_SGSL_Rec2.jpg

Utah builds new recreational facilities (parks, trails, campgrounds, picnic sites, etc.) to meet the growing demand of Utahns, as well as tourism growth at the same rate as population growth. We create and implement a strategy to develop and maintain recreational areas. As population grows westward along the Wasatch Front, new facilities are built in the mountains on the west sides of Wasatch Front counties. In key areas, we connect our parks and open spaces with trails. Outdoor recreational facilities are generally not crowded or overused. Though locals can easily access and enjoy Utah’s outdoors, we do not seek to attract more tourists to Utah. Access to quality outdoor recreation continues to attract employers and employees, benefiting the economy, as does some growth in the outdoor recreation industry.

We build recreational facilities to accommodate the growing population and a proportional growth in tourism. Utahns’ health is similar to today due to similar access to recreational areas. Employees and employers are drawn to Utah, but tourism does not increase faster than the population.

Quaking Aspen Scenario

ScenarioSummary_QA_Rec2.jpg

Utah significantly invests in building new recreational facilities to meet the growing demand of both Utahns and tourists. We create and implement a long-range strategy to develop and maintain recreational areas and expand tourism to strengthen Utah’s economy. As population grows westward along the Wasatch Front, new facilities are built in the mountains on the west sides of the Wasatch Front counties. National and international tourism, particularly for our national parks and ski areas, is promoted. Because we have prepared to accommodate our growing population and increased tourism, overcrowding generally does not occur.

We build recreational facilities to accommodate both the growing population and the increasing number of tourists, resulting in a decrease of conflicts between user groups. Employees and employers are drawn to Utah. The tourism and the outdoor recreation industry both flourish in Utah, benefiting our economy.