In Utah, the sprawling deserts, snow-capped peaks and towering plateaus that make up the state’s unique geography are eclipsed only by its people’s appreciation and enthusiasm for the outdoors. Surrounded by what is 70 percent publicly owned land, it’s no wonder that outdoor recreation is the backbone of Utah’s economy and the driving force behind many of its communities’ success.
It’s unimportant whether the creation of Utah’s Office of Outdoor Recreation in 2013 — the first of its kind in the country (though, many more states quickly followed suit) — was in reaction to or helped spur the growth of Utah’s $12.3 billion outdoor recreation economy; it’s likely a little of both. In the seven years since its inception, the office — created to help ensure the “state’s natural assets can sustain economic growth for years to come,” according to its website — has already had a lasting impact on the state’s outdoor recreation community.
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