Shaping the Way forward for Out of doors Recreation in Southeast Utah

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By Robin Hunt

The Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, based at Utah State University, met with representatives from various outdoor recreation organizations from Emery, Carbon and San Juan counties on Wednesday.

During the workshop, participants split into groups to study maps of each county. Participants added potential recreational opportunities and removed recreational resources that were incorrect.

Participants were then divided into groups to discuss what sets Southeast Utah apart in terms of recreation. Also discussed were some of the challenges the region faces and how these challenges relate to outdoor recreation and tourism. Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, along with county and city officials, formed the groups.

The uniqueness of the landscape and the variety of hiking trails and recreational opportunities that the vast desert and mountains offer were discussed. Challenges included staffing to care for the land and the people who recover there.

This was one of many such workshops that will be held across the state as the Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism gathers information about the areas and recreational opportunities from local experts. Experts include those who live and/or work in the areas discussed.