Outdoor recreation contributes more than $6.4B to the economy, employs more than 83,000 people and is the primary driver behind the tourism industry. Not only does Utah outdoor recreation create $737 million in state and local tax revenues, it is the reason for $3.2B in wages and salaries. In 2013, recognizing the significant contribution of outdoor products and recreation to Utah’s economy and quality of life, Gov. Gary Herbert created the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation — the first such office in the nation.

Our office aims to establish a nationwide recreation management standard, and ensure that the state’s natural assets can sustain economic growth for years to come. The private sector is a key partner in Utah’s success, and our state is committed to responsibly partnering with the business community.


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Summit Speaker Series: Go Before You Go – Poop and Public Lands

Outdoor recreation is more popular than ever (yay!) but more people can equal more poop – and that’s a problem. In this event, will learn why this is a problem, communication strategies currently in use (such as Gotta Go Utah), and takeaways to implement in your community.

This Summit Speaker Series’ experts are:

  • Hope Braithwaite, Assistant Professor for Watershed Quality with Utah State University
  • Bekee Hotze, Forest Service District Ranger for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District
  • Stephanie Wacha, Education Director for Friends of Cedar Mesa

Summit Speaker Series: Marketing – Showing Up in the New Consumer Decision Journey

Your online channels are now the front door to your brand or business. Kristin will walk through the consumer decision journey for consumers today and how you can rise above the noise to grow your online community.

This Summit Speaker Series expert is:

  • Kristin Carpenter, Founder, CEO, and Partner at Verde Brand Communications

The Impacts of COVID 19 on Outdoor Recreation Participation

The spread of COVID-19 throughout Utah has dramatically altered how the state’s residents, as well as visitors, participate in outdoor recreation. This panel discussion provides insights into how outdoor recreation participation within the state has changed throughout the pandemic. We bring together perspectives from a municipal park and trail system, Utah State Parks, and university researchers looking into visitation patterns and behaviors in Arches National Park. The discussion will focus on: (1) How the amount and type of outdoor recreation within the state has changed as a result of the pandemic; (2) What outdoor recreation planners and managers have done to respond to these changes; and (3) The unintended consequences of early policy and planning decisions (e.g., regional or county-wide visitation restrictions, facility closures, etc.).


Drop Us a Line

_Program Manager

Tara McKee

801-538-8686 tmckee@utah.gov

_Program Manager

India Nielsen Barfuss

801-538-8705 indianielsen@utah.gov

_Program Specialist

Patrick Morrison

801-538-8652 patrickmorrison@utah.gov