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Hiking Utah
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By Nate Carlisle, Jason Bergreen, Erin Alberty and Brett Prettyman

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Visitors at Dead Horse Point State Park stand on the Intrepid Trail. Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks.
Trails, taxes get discussion in Utah recreation plan

Gov. Gary Herbert released his recreation plan Wednesday to coincide with the Outdoor Retailers show. And while the big news was Herbert wants to create an office of outdoor recreation, there are some more specific proposals of interest to hikers and trail users.

Among the proposals for the director of Utah outdoor recreation:

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• Create a trail and pathways program. The proposal calls for exploring options for to fund trails with state dollars and a local match, "resulting in new and improved recreation assets."

• Promote a public/private partnership to fund outdoor assets. The specific example listed was the Intrepid Trail at Dead Horse Point State Park, for which private donors provided some money. Future partnerships could use public and private money to build more trails.

• Find new money to support Utah state parks and other outdoor programs. I’m consolidating a few specific proposals here, but the jist is the state struggles to find money to fund outdoor recreation. State park funding problems have been well documented. Other outdoor recreation is funded through hunting, fishing and ATV licenses, and that’s lead to complaints of inequity since hikers don’t necessarily purchase any of those.

You can read the entire proposal by clicking here.

How do you think state parks and new trails should be funded? Statewide tax increase? A tax that targets hikers, bicyclists and horseback riders? A private fund raising campaign?

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes

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