Utah Outdoor Recreation Strategic Plan
From the powder-covered slopes of the northern Wasatch to the red rock wonderland of the state’s southern regions, Utah is known worldwide for its outstanding outdoor recreation destinations and unique experiences. With 2.5 million Utahns participating in outdoor recreation each year, outdoor recreation is fundamental to who Utahns are, and how they live their lives. If future generations want the same opportunities available today, the state needs a long-term strategy for investing in its unparalleled outdoor recreation resources.
Working in close collaboration with the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University, the Outdoor Adventure Commission and the Division of Outdoor Recreation have undertaken a two-year analysis and planning effort that will chart a new path forward for outdoor recreation in Utah. The goal of the Strategic Plan is to ensure Utah has the nation’s most well-funded and well-managed outdoor recreation system in the country. The full plan will be released Fall 2023.
Data And Stakeholder Input, the Two Pillars of Utah’s Strategic Plan
The strategic planning process utilizes the best available data and stakeholder input to chart a path forward for improving outdoor recreation experiences within the state.
A statewide outdoor recreation asset database. The outdoor recreation asset database aggregates and organizes data on outdoor recreation assets across Utah, regardless of whom those assets are managed by. The asset database can be used to quantify and compare access to different types of outdoor recreation assets across the state.
A comprehensive assessment on how outdoor recreation and tourism is funded within Utah. Outdoor recreation is funded through a variety of different taxes and use fees. The funding assessment quantifies how the state funds, manages, and uses these funds. Final report available HERE.
Projections of future outdoor recreation use. Strategically investing in outdoor recreation assets requires an understanding of which types of activities are growing, or declining, in demand. These projections of future use provide insights for how use is likely to change within the state. Planned release: Summer 2023.
A comparative analysis of the differences in outdoor recreation management between Utah and other western states. How does the way Utah manages, and benefits from, outdoor recreation differ from other western states? The comparative analysis provides this regional perspective and offers recommendations on how Utah can capitalize on its unique position. Final report available HERE.
14 regional workshops held around the state. 14 regional workshop throughout Utah were held to identify critical threats to outdoor recreation assets and opportunities, and also to develop policy, program, and project priorities that meet local needs. Final report available HERE.
A general population survey. A statewide survey was used to quantify statewide participation in outdoor recreation and to understand the general public’s attitudes toward state investments in different types of outdoor recreation infrastructure. Final report available HERE.