With its beautiful and unique landscapes and world-class facilities, Utah leads the nation inoutdoor recreation. Opportunities for outdoor recreation in Utah are as diverse as the people whoenjoy them. To some, outdoor recreation is as simple as walking the neighborhood trail or a bikeride around the block. To a child, it may be playing at the neighborhood park. Sportsmen andSpo
rtswomen enjoy hunting and fishing in Utah’s great backcountry. Skiers flock to the“G
reatest Snow on Earth.
For others, it’s b
ackpacking, boating, motorized off-road vehicles,climbing, or rock hunting. The list of outdoor activities in Utah is vast and growing asinnovative adventurers create new sports.
While Utah’s residents and visitors are having fun in the outdoors, they also feed our economyand improve their health. Utah’s outdoor recreation industry is a significant and growing part of
state’s economy, contributing well
-paying jobs for highly skilled workers and a tax base thatfunds essential state services. Our close access to outdoor recreation contributes to a quality of life that a recent Gallup survey concluded was the best in the United States.
This quality of lifeis particularly attractive to companiesand their employees looking torelocate. And, as one of the moreactive states, Utah tops the nation inseveral health categories.Pace-setters, however, cannot rest ontheir l
aurels. To enhance Utah’s
leadership in outdoor recreation,Governor Gary R. Herbert charged
the Governor’s Council on Balanced
Resources with preparing a visionthat emphasizes outdoor recreation asa priority in the state and sets a nationwide standard.The Council undertook this effort fully aware of the challenges. The broad support for outdoor recreation belies many difficult underlying issues. How do we resolve tension amongsometimes-conflicting recreational activities? Will increasing participation harm the veryresources on which outdoor activities depend? Can we balance access to existing recreationalactivities with protecting environmentally sensitive landscapes? How will we fund necessarymanagement and maintenance of recreational facilities in a financially constrained world? Whatis the appropriate balance between necessary resource development and protection of beautifuloutdoor places? Could aggressive efforts to promote tourism diminish the opportunities for locals? Can developed recreation and backcountry recreation coexist? With the high cost of equipment, guides and travel, are popular outdoor activities being priced out of the range of average families? And, of course, there are many other issues.
Utah Poised to be the Best U.S. State to Live In,” August 7, 2012, Retrieved December 11, 2012