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Switchback- Should Mountain Bikes be Allowed in Wilderness Areas?

Switchback- Should Mountain Bikes be Allowed in Wilderness Areas?

Last summer President Obama signed the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act, creating 3 new wilderness areas in the Boulder- White Cloud Mountains of Central Idaho. The new wilderness, while mostly remote with challenging access, also closed several mountain bike trails that were held in high regard by local cyclists. The […]

Switchback- Is the PLI a Fair Deal for Public Lands in Utah?

Switchback- Is the PLI a Fair Deal for Public Lands in Utah?

Certainty: Utahns Demand It By Lee Lonsberry The genesis of the Public Lands Initiative comes from the idea that economic development and conservation can coexist and flourish. This locally driven process has revealed that, not only is it possible, its what the people demand. Utahns from all walks of life have come to the table […]

Moab Master Leasing Plan Seeks to Guide Resource Development on Prime Recreation Lands

Moab Master Leasing Plan Seeks to Guide Resource Development on Prime Recreation Lands

From the window of a small plane, the area north of Canyonlands National Park appears as a vast, rolling expanse of white, tan and red sandstone, grayish-green fields of rice grass, sage and blackbrush, punctuated with towering buttes, and incised with deep canyons that fall towards the Green River. An asphalt ribbon, Utah’s Scenic Byway […]

Switchback- Should Drilling be Expanded in the San Rafael Swell?

Switchback- Should Drilling be Expanded in the San Rafael Swell?

Recently, the Bureau of Land Management announced plans to auction leases for 82 parcels for potential drill sites in the San Rafael Swell. The auction, scheduled for mid-November will offer leases covering approximately 79,000 acres, with the parcels between or adjacent to, existing drill sites in the regions northern perimeter. While many plugged and existing […]

Should Trails be Improved for Safety's Sake?

Should Trails be Improved for Safety’s Sake?

  It’s been a brutal and unfortunate summer for hikers in the Deserts of Southern Utah. So far this year, 3 people have perished due to heat related symptoms in the Paria Canyon- Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness along the Utah/Arizona Border in the Coyote Buttes area. The hikers were visiting the popular Wave formation that has […]

Switchback- Should the Greater Canyonlands Area be Protected?

Switchback- Should the Greater Canyonlands Area be Protected?

Recently, the Outdoor Industry Association submitted a letter to President Obama asking for greater protection for the Canyonlands area of Utah, essentially asking the President to utilize the Antiquities Act to designate an additional1.4 million acres of federal wildlands surrounding Canyonlands National Park as a national monument. More than 100 outdoor related businesses signed the […]

Switchback-  Utah House Bill 148- Good or Bad for Outdoor Recreation?

Switchback- Utah House Bill 148- Good or Bad for Outdoor Recreation?

In March, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed HB 148 which asks the federal government, which owns a majority of the land in the state, to give back more than 20 million acres. A similar measure, was passed in Arizona, but was vetoed, and similar bills patterned after Utah’s are being prepared for filing next year […]

Is Utah a Bike Friendly State?

Is Utah a Bike Friendly State?

Is Utah Really a Bike Friendly State?   By Jared Hargrave In May, the Utah cycling community got welcome news when the League of American Bicyclists ranked the Beehive State as the 13th most bicycle-friendly state in the nation. While the number doesn’t sound like we should be popping corks of champagne bottles quite yet, […]

Should Salt Lake City Pursue Another Olympic Games?

Should Salt Lake City Pursue Another Olympic Games?

Switchback-Salt Lake City- 2022? Should Salt Lake City pursue another Winter Olympic Games?   In February, in conjunction with the 10 year anniversary of the 2002 Olympic Games staged in Salt Lake City, Utah Governor Herbert announced the formation of a 15 member exploratory committee tasked with researching whether or not Salt Lake City should […]

 Switchback- Are Interconnected Resorts A Good Idea?

Switchback- Are Interconnected Resorts A Good Idea?

In a recent issue of UAJ, writer Lee Cohen took a look at the idea of interconnected resorts, or the so called “Interconnect” linking up Wasatch Ski Resorts, Euro style- via chairlifts. The idea once so popular, but largely under the radar for the past several years, has never gone away he discovered. It has […]

Nukes in Utah- Good for Utah or a Bad Idea?

Nukes in Utah- Good for Utah or a Bad Idea?

The pros and cons of nuclear power have been debated for decades, it’s expensive in the short term but cheap in the long term, it’s a ‘clean’ power source but potential hazards do exist, and it takes a lot of water to run a power plant. A nuclear power plant has not come online in […]

Are Utah's Leaders Doing Enough to Protect our Landscapes and Playgrounds?

Are Utah’s Leaders Doing Enough to Protect our Landscapes and Playgrounds?

Recently, Frank Hugelmeyer of the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) wrote an op-ed piece in the Salt Lake Tribune taking our state leaders to task for neglecting to preserve public lands, despite the overwhelming evidence of significant economic benefits to the State. OIA is a trade association for companies in the active outdoor recreation business. OIA […]

HB 141- Unfair or a Necessary Property Protection?

HB 141- Unfair or a Necessary Property Protection?

HB 141 Restores Property Rights By Randy Parker According to Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, the expectation of profit from improving one’s stock of capital rests on private property rights. It is a belief central to capitalism that private property rights encourage the property holders to develop property, generate wealth and efficiently […]

Utah Powder- Plentiful or Precious?

Utah Powder- Plentiful or Precious?

Utah’s ski resorts are growing in popularity, as documented by a steady increase in skier days since the 2002 Olympics. While numbers are down slightly to just under 4 million last year, the last 7 seasons have all been in the top 10 in skier visits of all time, with 2007/08 the biggest year ever. […]

Extreme Sports–Are the athletes and their sponsors going too far?

Extreme Sports–Are the athletes and their sponsors going too far?

Back in March of this year, the extreme sports world lost one of its brightest stars when Shane McConkeys equipment malfunctioned during a ski BASE jump in Italy. He was to ski off of a cliff, perform a double back flip, and then release his skis by pulling on the release mechanism of the bindings […]