Strategies to Deal With Arches Overcrowding Discussed Tuesday

July 1, 2015
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arches work session(Moab Utah)- An invited group of city and county elected and appointed officials, business owners and managers, representatives of law enforcement and the national Park Service, met for two hours in the Grand Center yesterday to brainstorm ideas for dealing with the explosive growth in visitation at Arches National Park. Last Memorial Day weekend, visitors trying to enter the park, were backed up onto highway 191, forcing closure of the park entrance, several times during the weekend.

Facilitator Jim Morrison from Utah Valley University, broke the group into several working groups, asking them to discuss possible ideas, is spreading out visitation a good idea, what are some solutions and what can be done today and in the long run.   Group suggestions and discussion notes will be pulled together into a report to be collated by the Grand County Administrators Office as a framework a later public meeting.  Most of the business representatives appeared to oppose a reservation system but appeared to like a coordinated plan expanding parking in the park and possible implementation of private shuttle systems. Superintendent Kate Cannon told the group visitation this year is expected to exceed 1.5 million, an all time record.

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