in Utah

 Utah is known for its beautiful natural surroundings. Year-round, Utahns have incomparable access to outdoor recreation and enjoy activities ranging from biking and hiking to skiing and horseback riding to fishing, hunting, climbing, camping and more. Utahns value the state’s outdoor recreation because it provides opportunities to spend time with their friends and families and strengthen their relationships. Outdoor activity also allows Utahns to enjoy better mental and physical health, live longer, and have a greater sense of happiness and personal freedom. In addition, Utah’s world-renowned outdoors and recreation attract employers and tourists, stimulating the state’s economy.

Utahns want a plan for the future of outdoor recreation. Although Utahns are generally happy with the recreational opportunities in the state, they worry that some recreational areas are becoming less enjoyable and accessible due to overcrowding. As the population continues to grow and as tourism increases, many facilities are already overburdened, and the numbers will only increase in the decades to come. Currently, the state has no recreation plan to accommodate the future demand, but Utahns want to plan ahead and invest in new parks, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and other facilities to ensure they continue to enjoy excellent access to world-class outdoor recreation.

Outdoor recreation is an integral part of life in Utah. Recreation contributes to Utahns’ high quality of life and is a major factor in Utah’s economy. Year-round, Utah provides a variety of recreational facilities and activities through its many canyons, ski areas, state and national parks, wilderness areas, campsites, hiking and biking trails, lakes, rivers, neighborhood parks, sports fields, and more. As a state, however, Utah has no current plan to accommodate future increases in population and tourism.

Many communities in Utah rely on recreation and tourism as a primary industry cluster. In addition to providing direct economic contributions through increased revenue, outdoor recreation creates a high quality of life, attracting top talent to Utah. It also attracts major employers, including businesses related to outdoor recreation (such as equipment manufacturers).

Demand for Utah’s recreational facilities will continue to increase. As the state population grows and as tourism increases, these areas will be more heavily used and under more strain than ever before.

Maintaining and expanding recreational facilities has costs, but if these facilities are not improved to accommodate growth, recreation will diminish as a key contributor to Utah’s good economy and high quality of life.