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outdoor recreation

Photo of a person standing at the edge of a grassy hill.
Jon Reed / KUER

It’s perhaps a familiar sight to anyone who regularly drives the I-15 corridor past Point of the Mountain at the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. Brightly-colored, U-shaped wings float peacefully above the foothills, two thousand feet above the highway. 

Desolation Canyon
Adam Swisher, National Outdoor Leadership School

Environmentalists in Utah examined how conservation and social justice issues impact each other during Latino Conservation Week, which wrapped up Sunday. 

Photo of RV in Utah wilderness.
Flickr Creative Commons/j2davis2005

New Routes Considered For Washington County Highway

Photo of a sign listing the distance to Brighton Resort.
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah’s ski season officially began Tuesday as Brighton Resort opened with two lifts and about 12 inches of mostly man-made snow.


If you're anything like me, you've never been on an e-bike before. You might not even know what it looks like. That's why I make a visit to a local bike shop in downtown Laramie to find out what all the fuss is about. Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, as they're known, are having a moment. Right now they're the fastest growing segment of the country's bike market and that market could get even hotter now they're allowed on some public lands.

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

Five people hunch over a table, signing documents.
Tony Young / Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

ST. GEORGE — Five new states signed a pledge to support outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship at the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit on Thursday. 

An Interior Department committee is recommending that the National Park Service privatize campgrounds in national parks and offer services such as WI-FI and food trucks.

Photo of bike trail sign.
iStock.com / jonathange

Electric bikes are coming to national parks and other public lands managed by the Interior Department. 

Photo of Rob Lea swimming.
Courtesy Caroline Gleich

For many, climbing Mount Everest is an achievement of a lifetime. But for one Park City resident, summiting the highest mountain in the world is just one in a series of goals he’s checking off his list this year. Endurance athlete Rob Lea recently became the first person on record to climb Everest and swim the English Channel in the same year — and he’s still going. 

Renee Bright / KUER

MOAB — After a recent 12-hour nursing shift at the local hospital, Ryan Huels took stock of his tidy home just south of this high desert town.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

Emery County Sheriff's Office

A skier killed in an avalanche in Emery County on Friday marks the first fatality in Utah’s backcountry in the past two years. According to avalanche forecasters, there were multiple factors that led to the man’s death.

Photo of skin track.
Annie Putman

As skiers and snowboarders gear up for the season and what looks to be a snowy Thanksgiving weekend, snow safety forecasters are hoping this will be the third season in a row without avalanche-caused deaths in the backcountry.

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

The ongoing trade war with China is feeling close to home these days. Mounting tariffs on outdoor recreation gear may hit the wallets of folks in the Mountain West who love going outside.

On Monday, the Trump administration announced $200 billion dollars worth of new tariffs on products from China.

“This is going to include backpacks, sport bags, leather ski gloves, bikes and some camping equipment,” Rich Harper, a trade analyst with the lobbying group Outdoor Industry Association, said.

Cathalee La knows more about Idaho hummingbirds than your typical teenager.

 


Tom Baker, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

A recent study published in Science magazine reports some animals are becoming more nocturnal. The cause is human activity.

"Colorado Calling" Screenshot/Elevation Outdoors

Black Diamond founder Peter Metcalf helped make Utah a hub for outdoor-recreation businesses and lured the industry’s big trade show to Salt Lake City. This year, the trade show’s relocated to Colorado where public-lands politics are more in line with the industry’s.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

If you’re hitting the trails anytime soon, maps can help guide you, and federal land agencies have posted dozens of them online that you can take wherever you go.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

The outdoor industry’s winter trade show is back at the Salt Palace Convention Center, along with that ever-present tension between Utah politicians and companies that depend on the state’s extraordinary landscapes.

Nicole Nixon

The Salt Lake County Council this week decided to continue with parking restrictions near a trailhead that has affected the area’s residents.

Christina R. Sloan/ Friends of Indian Creek

Utah’s economic officials are taking outdoor fun seriously. They’re fielding new applications for matching grants to fund outdoor recreation projects.

“There’s a lot of imagination here,” says Tom Adams, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, the first of its kind in the nation. “And the term ‘outdoor recreation’ is really vast.”

Don Sharaf / American Avalanche Institute

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a plan to begin charging people to access some trails in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. 

booizzy / Flickr Creative Commons

The outdoor recreation industry is meeting again in Salt Lake City this week. The Outdoor Retailers’ (OR) Summer Market is partly a gathering of retail trend spotters, partly a brainstorming for conservation activists. But it’s also a business convention, with more than twenty-eight thousand people pumping over twenty-million-dollars into the local economy over a few days. 

Taylor Hayes

The University of Utah’s Campus Recreation Services opened a new Student Life Center on Monday. 

Photo courtesy Moab Desert Adventures

The summer outdoor retailer show is at the Salt Palace this week, and some locals are using the event as a chance to get the increasingly powerful outdoor industry involved in the Utah public lands debate. Instead of “drill, baby, drill” they’re pushing the tagline, “play, baby, play.”

Tord Sollie, Flickr

As Governor Herbert declares May Utah Golf Month a new report also shows the industry has a larger than expected impact on the state’s economy.

Interior Secretary Jewell Wants Kids Outdoors

Jan 22, 2014
Judy Fahys

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wants young Americans to spend more time outdoors. She spoke to members of the Outdoor Industry Association on Thursday about ways to pay for the initiative.

Utah Launches New Tourism Campaign

Mar 27, 2013
Brian Grimmett

The Utah Office of Tourism launched a brand new regional ad campaign today to help promote the state’s five national parks.

The $3.1 million dollar campaign will include TV commercials in major western markets like Los Angeles, Denver, and San Francisco as well outdoor and digital advertisements. Governor Gary Herbert was on hand for the launch. He says tourism has and will continue to help Utah’s economy.

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