In a state where it seems that most of the political energy is devoted to the extraction/exploitation of natural resources despite the obvious economics of recreation (think: Moab as a mining town, vs the Moab of today) it’s nice to see at least a small nod to the importance that recreation has in our fair state by the state legislature.
House Bill 52 – called the House Bill 52- Utah Recreation Infrastructure Development Fund is a one time, $5M allocation of state monies -that comes from the general fund, and therefore not from taxes -to help shore up recreational facilities around the state. Given the state budget is nearly $15 billion $5 million is not much money, but it’s a good start, and because it fulfills the conservatives’ desire for the state to have more control over their lands it should have bipartisan support.
As we head into the last week of the 2016 legislative session now is the time to add some pressure to your representatives to vote in favor of this bill. Here is a link to a site with all the information that you need: http://www.utahrecreationfund.org/ and our friends at the Salt Lake Climbers’ Alliance have created a great vehicle to send a note to your representatives: https://secure.everyaction.com/h1GBmFMS_kWdEHi1IcIUgQ2
They have created a paragraph that outlines “your” support, but of course it’s always better if you put it in your own words, especially if you can emphasize values that will matter to your representative. And do it soon, because the session only lasts for another 10 days and they are voting on bills every day!
Written by Tom Diegel, Wasatch Backcountry Alliance Vice President