Utah's Outdoor Recreation Strategic Plan

Cardinal directions to guide the future of outdoor recreation in Utah

Utah's 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.

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 outdoor recreation remains a central part of Utah's economy and Utahns' way of life for years to come.


Data and Supporting Analysis

The strategic planning process utilized the best available data and stakeholder input to chart a path forward for improving outdoor recreation in the state. Data and supporting analyses are reported in the following reports and resources.

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.
Comparative Analysis Across the Western U.S.
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.
Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Funding
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.
14 Regional Workshops
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.
Projections of Outdoor Recreation Use and Programs
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.
Statewide 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.





All questions, comments, and other inquiries about the strategic plan should be directed to Ms. Carly Lansche (carly.lansche@utah.gov) and Dr. Jordan W. Smith (jordan.smith@usu.edu)