Lt. Gov. Speaks To Hundreds Of Outdoor Rec Leaders At Summit In Midway
Hundreds of outdoor recreation leaders descended on Midway for the three-day Outdoor Recreation Summit.
Utah’s Lt. Governor Spencer Cox addressed hundreds of recreation leaders at the Zermatt Resort in Midway on the final day of the summit.
“What makes this state the best state in the world to do business is what you do. Why we’re here today it is the outdoor recreation piece. Look we have to go to work and we have to do our jobs, but you have to want to live there. People want to live here because of the public lands that we have, because of the incredible vistas that surround us, because of the national parks that we get to frequent, because of Park City, Midway, the Heber Valley. There are so many incredible places here. Unfortunately, there are hundreds if not thousands of other places that many in the state don’t even know exist.”
Cox also decried the federal government for their lack of spending on maintaining national parks.
“The crowding is happening, right? We’re loving these parks to death and unfortunately the federal government has done a terrible job at giving the funds necessary to continue to maintain these parks. That is something that we all need to be involved in, that we should all care about. We should be talking to our members of congress and letting them know that the funding levels in our national parks are completely unacceptable for the type of traffic that we’re seeing.”
The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation has offered nearly $2 million in funding to create recreation infrastructure in the state over the past three years. In 2018 the grant awarded funding to 58 projects in the state including a Bonanza Flat Conservation area trail and trailhead, and the Oakley Campground and corridor trails project.
“The good news for us is that gives us an opportunity. There’s a niche in the marketplace now where we can give people other opportunities. Many of these counties that I’m talking about have amazing landscapes they have places to visit that no one even knows about. The problem is, they don’t have the infrastructure. Without the infrastructure if people start coming we’ll have the same problem only it’ll be worse. We’ll create environmental disasters; impact disasters and we’ll lose those places. This recurring fund is a game changer for so many in rural Utah and we’re incredibly excited. We appreciate the legislature, we appreciate Tom (Adams) and (the) office (of outdoor recreation) for the great work in making that happen. By the way, 58 grants given out this year, 65% of them, I think, were in rural Utah. That’s $4.2 million, it’s a huge deal most of them on public lands, state and federal lands are going to allow them to start to develop these opportunities.”