Feds approve Waddy’s Parking Corral at Sand Mountain Recreation Space to enhance public security  – St George Information

0
49

title=

The Waddy’s Corral staging area at Sand Mountain will consist of a large open area with demarcated parking and fenced in with round rails. The staging area will also contain a single vault style toilet, undated | Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Bureau of Land Management’s St. George Field Office hopes to improve public safety by approving the creation of parking lots and off-road vehicle yards in Washington County’s Sand Mountain Recreation Management Area.

The black and green dot shows the location of Waddy’s Corral Park | Map courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

According to a bureau press release, the upgrades include a five-acre parking lot for up to 50 vehicles and trailers with two detention pools, a vaulted restroom and an information kiosk to be built as soon as possible.

The surrounding 15 hectares will be set aside for future expansion, funding permitting.

“This decision supports the growing interest in the Sand Mountain Recreation Area and provides outdoor enthusiasts and their families with a safe place to park and gather,” said Callie Goff, BLM Color Country District Planning and Environmental Specialist. “We appreciate the partnerships that enable these types of improvements on public spaces managed by the BLM.”

According to the press release, this area is experiencing a rapid increase in outdoor recreation and is becoming increasingly popular with ATV users enjoying the dunes at Sand Mountain Recreation Area. In 2021, more than 375,000 people visited Sand Mountain.

Current parking and staging areas are simply not equipped for all users. Recreation seekers have turned to parking along State Route 7, the Southern Parkway that winds east of St. George, and other undesignated parking lots, leading to traffic jams, congestion, and even accidents.

The construction of the new park enclosure will not only provide visitors with a designated parking space, but also a place to safely congregate, get their bearings and review safety protocols before entering the sand dunes, the office said

Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management recognized the role of organizations in this improvement:

This project would not be possible without our continued partnership with the Utah Public Lands Alliance and the Desert Roads and Trails Society. Both non-profit organizations have made it their mission to support the use of public spaces for outdoor recreation. These organizations will provide full funding for the project to enhance the overall Sand Mountain recreational experience. The parking lot will take 30 days to complete once construction begins. More information can be found on the project website.