Implementation Cornerstone 3:
A Thriving Rural Utah

Rural communities in the state have their own opportunities and challenges, which vary from place to place. Though 90% of Utah consists of rural private and public lands, the vast majority of Utah’s population, and the focus of much of Utah’s prior strategic effort, is in the urbanized Wasatch Front and Back. As Utah’s population nearly doubles by 2050, however, we need to ensure that rural Utah thrives, while still maintaining its rural heritage. Utahns resoundingly support having a balance of uses for our public and private rural lands in order to foster thriving rural economies. The following elements are key to a thriving rural economy:


Supporting a thriving rural Utah by improving these elements is a robust strategy with significant benefits for jobs and the economy, water, agriculture, recreation, public lands, and education. Specifically, benefits include:

  • A vibrant, diverse rural economy based on strong industries in agriculture, energy, mining, recreation and tourism, and other sectors
  • Better educational opportunities by connecting students to more resources
  • Improved ability for new generations to stay in rural Utah because a strong economy and quality of life will prevent them from having to move elsewhere
  • Improved food self-sufficiency and access to healthy, locally grown food
  • Increased water storage in aquifers
  • Reduced flooding and a cleaner water supply
  • Healthy ecosystems
  • Preserved cultural heritage
  • Good access to recreational areas and opportunities


<The Vision