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Establishing An Olympic Legacy For Trails In Utah 2002-2004 A Public Planning Process. Utah Recreation and Parks Association Conference St. George Dixie Center March 25, 2002 Steve Burr, Director, Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Establishing An Olympic Legacy For Trails In Utah2002-2004A Public Planning Process Utah Recreation and Parks Association Conference St. George Dixie Center March 25, 2002 Steve Burr, Director, Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Courtland Nelson, Director, Utah Division of Parks and Recreation
The Governor’s Trails Initiative • Utahns Want More And Better Trailsand Governor Leavitt Responds… Looking ahead 1,000 days and beyond, Governor Leavitt’s Office asked the Utah Division Parks and Recreation to evaluate establishing a program or legacy to assist and accelerate the development and improvement of both motorized and non-motorized trails and pathways throughout the state.
Why Do Utahns Want Trails and Pathways? • High priorities for the citizens of Utah. • Important components of quality growth, community fitness, economic benefit, and outdoor recreation. • Provide access to Utah’s outstanding public lands, enjoyment of wildlife, and healthy social interaction in our communities. • Use of trails and pathways is a significant part of recreational activity, tourism, and lifestyle in Utah.
Major Objectives for a Legacy of Trails in Utah • Improve the quality of life in Utah by developing trails and urban pathways. • Encourage business growth and vitality by retaining and attracting highly competent and talented professionals and employees to boost economic momentum over the long term. • Improve economic benefits to rural communities that often host recreational trail activity. • Improve statewide tourism. • Collaborate with other state and federal agencies to implement trails and urban pathways.
Major Objectives for a Legacy of Trails in Utah • Encourage local planners and developers to incorporate innovative open space and pathway designs into developments. • Increase walkability of our communities, and improve use and enjoyment of alternative transportation. • Improve health and fitness of our citizens, and measure and assess physical and mental health benefits arising from trails activity. • Ensure and improve public access to public lands in Utah.
Major Objectives for a Legacy of Trails in Utah • Provide trails or urban pathways within 15 minutes of every home and workplace. • Help local trail sponsors craft clean, well-designed, and easy-to-maintain trails and trailheads for grant applications. • Identify at least three priority trail projects in each planning region in the state—urban and rural/motorized and non-motorized—that could be undertaken or completed in the next 1,000 days. • An Olympic Legacy for Trails in Utah…
Governor Leavitt’s State of the State Address January 28, 2002 “As an Olympic legacy, I propose the creation of the Utah Olympic Trails and Streams System. The objective is 715 miles of premier trails, open to hiking, off-roading, horseback riding, and biking, and within a 15-minute drive of every Utah citizen.” “These initiatives are worthwhile in their own right, but as always, there is the economic tie-in. It’s about quality of life. It’s about jobs being drawn to a beautiful, exceptional state.”
Establishing A Legacy For Trails In Utah Through A Public Planning Process • Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget encouraged adoption of the Envision Utah approach to a trail legacy program and suggested a publicparticipationprocess. • Envision Utah—a public and private community partnership dedicated to studying the effects of long-term growth in the Greater Wasatch… • One Objective: Enhance communities with great places to walk by providing accessible, safe, and beautiful urban pathways and walkways linking shopping area, parks, and open spaces.
Establishing A Legacy For Trails In Utah Through A Public Planning Process • Utah State Parks and Recreation was asked to explore the 21st Century Community Initiative program as a means of implementing trails and paths through their planning, recreation, transportation, and tourism assessments, and facilitating selection of 21st Century Community projects based on trail amenities. • Through the Quality Growth Program, trails and urban pathways could be enhanced by inclusion in quality growth areas.
Establishing A Legacy For Trails In Utah Through A Public Planning Process • Three Sources of Public Input for Information: • Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee • Statewide Telephone Survey of Resident Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails • Seven Regional Trails Workshops • …providing a substantive base for trails priorities, clarification of issues, and user-group references, and a strong political foundation for future proposals.
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee Source #1 • Utah Division of Parks and Recreation invited Utahns with interest and expertise in trails to be a part of the Steering Committee. • First convened July 2001 • Steering Committee input provided direction, issues and priorities identification, and tools. • Five meetings held through January 2002 • Vision and Mission Statements, along with Guiding Values, developed and approved in August 2001.
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee Mountainland AOG Planning Utah Recreation & Parks Association Salt Lake City Planning Bureau of Land Management Ogden City Planning National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program Envision Utah Murray City Planning USDA Forest Service State Senators/ Representatives St. George Planning USU’s Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Bonneville Shoreline Trail Planning Dept. of Health, Community & Family Health Services Utah Dept. of Transportation State Historical Society State Parks & Recreation Staff & Board Members OHV Coordinator/Non-Motorized Trails Coordinator
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee • At the July 2001 first meeting… • What do we do well with regard to trails in Utah? • What improvements are needed with regard to trails in Utah? • Identify major trails systems in Utah. • What should the Governor’s Trails Initiative include? • What should be included in a “Toolbox” for trails development? • Assignments for August 2001 meeting… • What should be included in vision, mission, and value statements? • Long and short-term objectives • Lessons learned
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee • Vision: • A statewide network of trails to enhance the quality of life in Utah, with grassroots political support. • Ensuring trails and pathways access within 15 minutes of home and work for all Utahns. • Mission: A perpetual legacy… • To continually improve the quality and quantity of motorized and non-motorized trails for health, fitness, recreation, transportation, and social interaction.
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering Committee • Guiding Values: Utahns value… • private property rights and responsibilities, • healthy lifestyles, • recreation and tourism, • protection of history and culture, • cooperative planning and implementation, • use of valid and reliable data, • and public participation at all levels.
Governor’s Trails Initiative Steering CommitteeIdentified Six Major Issue Categories for Consideration • A list of trails for priority development; • New and expanded funding sources; • Effective coordination and cooperation between all governmental agencies; • Protecting access to public lands by overcoming trail and access closures; developing alignments for linkages on public and private lands; • Ensuring adequate access and trails opportunities for all citizens and visitors, including access for people with disabilities; 6. Enhancing natural, wildlife, cultural, and heritage resources.
Statewide Telephone Survey of Resident Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails Source #2 • Need identified to substantiate Utah resident opinions on: • Values and benefits of recreational trails; • Awareness and use of trails; • Perception of needs/preferences related to trails. • Resulting information generated from survey: • Could provide supporting elements for the Governor’s Trails Initiative; • Could be utilized by Steering Committee to make recommendations for legislation and funding needs to develop the initiative for the Utah Legislature.
Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Conducted the Statewide Telephone Survey • Methodology • IORT designed telephone survey questions with input from Steering Committee. • Discovery Research Group, Inc. contracted to conduct the actual telephone survey. • Interview instrument pilot tested, resulting in some minor modifications to the instrument. • Random sample of household telephone numbers selected, stratified by the seven, multi-county Planning Districts in the state.
Statewide Telephone Survey Methodology Telephone Interviewing • 370 telephone interviews conducted in each of the seven Planning Districts, proportionately divided based on individual counties’ population percentage within a district. • An adult, 18 years or older, in each household contacted was asked to participate in interview. • From September 6-17, 2001, total of 2,590 telephone interviews conducted statewide; each interview averaged between five and six minutes. • Sampling approach selected in order to facilitate data analysis at both Statewide and Planning District levels.
Statewide Telephone Survey MethodologySampling Design • One shortcoming of this sampling approach… • Can not simply combine the data from all Planning Districts to provide statewide summary results. • Certain Planning Districts would be under- or over-represented because the district populations are not all equal.
Planning Districts’ Approximate Percent of State Population Southwestern (6.1%) Bear River (6.2%) Southeastern (2.6%) Central (3.1%) Uintah Basin (1.9%) Mountainland (18.4%) Wasatch Front (61.7%) Total State Population is 2,118,300 (Based on 2000 Census)
To correct for this in Statewide Results only, simple multipliers or “weights” are used to calculate averages and sums.
Statewide Telephone Survey of Resident Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails • Some Statewide and Planning District results… (see other presentation titled A Statewide Telephone Survey of Utah Residents’Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails: Statewide Results)
Statewide Telephone Survey of Resident Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails • Resulting information generated from the survey: • Provide supporting elements for the Governor’s Trails Initiative? • Utilized by Steering Committee to make recommendations for legislation and funding needs to develop the initiative for the Utah Legislature?
Seven Regional Trails Workshops Source #3 • Seven Regional Trails Workshops Held Between November 27th and December 12th, 2001: November 27: Heber City December 5: St. George November 28: Logan December 4: Richfield November 29: SLC & Vernal December 11: Green River • Invitations extended to Trails Stakeholder Groups in each Planning District. • Over 200 Utahns attended and participated in the workshops.
Seven Regional Trails Workshops • Agenda: • Background on the Governor’s Trails Initiative • Display of Graphics and Maps of Trail Systems • Importance of Regional and Local Input • Statewide Telephone Survey Results • Statewide and Planning District-Specific Results • Team Breakout Sessions to Map Priority Trails • Prioritizing Trails Issues • Suggestions for Toolbox Development • Sharing Team Reports
Seven Regional Trails Workshops • Confirmed some regional differences, but also some statewide similarities. • Validated the results of the Statewide Telephone Survey. • Connected with and informed a knowledgeable, experienced, motivated, and representative constituency for trail advocacy in Utah.
Steering Committee and Regional Trail Priority Issues • Initial Steering Committee priority issues were essentially validated in the seven Regional Trails Workshops. • Regional priorities tended to be more specific. • More motorized trails were suggested, as well as equestrian facilities and multiple-use trails. • Several regions had already completed very extensive trail planning.
Major Objective for a Legacy of Trails in Utah:Identify Three Priority Trail Projects in Each Planning District
Major Objective for a Legacy of Trails in Utah:Identify Three Priority Trail Projects in Each Planning District in Utah
Major Objective for a Legacy of Trails in Utah:Identify Three Priority Trail Projects in Each Planning District in Utah
Major Objective for a Legacy of Trails in Utah:Identify Three Priority Trail Projects in Each Planning District in Utah • These 21 trails and trail segments represent only 20% or less of many potential, desired, and lesser “Legacy” trail projects identified in the regional Trails Workshops. • Local trail advocates can initiate trail grant applications, and seek technical assistance through special programs.
Local land use restrictions Private ownership barriers Federal, state, and local land use regulations Pre-existing land use plans RS 2477 litigation and resolution Wildlife habitat-sensitive problems and challenges Conflicting land use and development Other challenges and barriers Potential Priority Trail Projects subject to variety of challenges:
Potential Priority Trail Projects subject to variety of challenges, but… • Experienced trail advocates/trail staff in other communities who have solved similar problems are eager to help. • Regional and community decision-makers closest to these problems will hopefully be working toward their resolution. • State, federal, and regional trails experts and program staff will be available to provide information, advise, technical assistance, and grants as they become available.
Trails Funding Limitations, but opportunities are there! • Current state and local funding levels will not reach far enough to develop over 700 miles of trails. • High priority trail opportunities and challenges can be addressed first. • Initial efforts in trails planning have been completed, at both statewide and regional levels. • Some local planning efforts are at high levels. • Opportunities exist for cooperative and collaborative approaches to achieve a legacy of trails in Utah.
Non-Motorized Trails Funding Limitations • State Non-Motorized Trail Grants and River Enhancement Grants are inadequate to meet identified demand. • Collaborations in funding and trail design are needed by many communities to secure matching funds. • Smaller communities need access to trained trail planners and developers, engineers, and maintenance personnel. • Small stipends to pay for trail analysis and design are needed in order to expedite quality grant applications.
Motorized Trails Funding • Motorized Trail Grants are adequate to meet current demand • However, maintenance and renovation of OHV trails due to erosion and heavy traffic are continuous problems on state and federal lands. • There is a need to locate training and riding areas close to urban and rural service center communities. • Lack of riding areas, untrained riders, trespass, and environmental damage are continuing problems, but are solvable problems.
Motorized Trails Funding • OHV user education is crucial. • Regional and community planning processes should seek to accommodate motorized recreation areas utilizing significant property taxes paid by OHV users. • These tax receipts could be used to secure and manage OHV riding areas and fund OHV education programs.
Professional Trail Design Needed • Evident need for professional, well-trained, and experienced trail designers and developers. • Formalized workshops, training, and perhaps even certification are needed. • Goal: Provide high quality, well-aligned, environmentally-sensitive trail corridors that are both safe and convenient for users.
Trail Development, Maintenance, and Monitoring • With trail development, professional planning and local public input is crucial because of a variety of site-specific issues and challenges. • Poorly designed and constructed trails can cost significantly more to maintain; may actually become more of a liability and have substantial negative visual and environmental impacts. • Maintenance efforts and costs need to be continually monitored and evaluated. • Trail use and conditions need to be continually monitored and evaluated.
Directions for the Future: A Utah Trails Legacy • 2002 Statewide Trails Conference • Keep the momentum going… • 2001 Statewide Trails Conference • Seven Trails Workshops held throughout the state at the end 2001. • Opportunities for Regional Trails Working Groups • Involvement of more trails stakeholder groups • Provide in-depth training sessions for trails people around the state utilizing the “trails toolbox” being developed. • Quality experiences, satisfaction, and benefits • Trail planning, design, construction, and maintenance workshops • Monitoring and evaluation
Establishing An Olympic Legacy For Trails In Utah2002-2004A Public Planning Process • Visit Utah State University’s Institute for Outdoor Recreation and Tourism’s Website at www.cnr.usu.edu/iort for: • A Statewide Telephone Survey of Utah Residents’ Attitudes Toward Recreational Trails • Report on Statewide Results and Specific Planning District Results(Professional Reports) • Trails Workshop Presentations Specific to Planning Districts(IORT Presentations)