Emery County Commissioners Support Future Study for Proposed Goblin Valley Expansion

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Gary Petty from the Emery Public Lands Council discussed the proposed 136,000-acre Goblin Valley State Park Expansion with Emery County Commissioners on Tuesday. He explained that with the expansion, Goblin Valley would become one of the largest parks in the state.

The public lands council aims to protect existing land use and the state parks proposal would essentially do that. The current uses of Goblin Valley are primarily recreation and livestock grazing. Petty stated that there are very clear advantages in the proposal.

Recreation use has increased dramatically and the council expects it to rise in future years. Increased recreational use has created public safety concerns. Impacts in the area include user-created roads and camping areas as well as some environmental degradation.

The state park proposal would convert the area into a user fee area and it could prove to be very advantageous by expanding management. It would put more employees on the ground to provide better services for sanitation, maintenance, among others. The park would eventually be managed on-site instead of from the Price Bureau of Land Management office, which is approximately 100 miles away.

Petty went on to explain a concern regarding livestock grazing and that the council needs to ensure that grazing areas not be injured by development. He said that grazing permits would be preserved, to which state parks has agreed.

The public lands council recommended that the county support the concept of expanding Goblin Valley. The council wishes to get closer to specific boundaries so that the existing grazers are not at a disadvantage and to make sure they do not violate the principles of the permit holders.
Commissioners moved to support future study and action to expand Goblin Valley.

Petty went on to explain that as for livestock grazing, there would be some concerns and that the council needs to ensure that the grazing area not be injured by development. He said that the grazing permits would be preserved and the state parks have agreed to that.

The public lands council recommended that the county support the concept of expanding Goblin Valley with something like the proposed scale, but they want to get closer to specific boundaries so that the existing grazers are not at a disadvantage and to make sure they do not violate the principles of the permit holders.

The commissioners moved to support future study and action to expand Goblin Valley.

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