Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Forest Science

Committee Chair(s)

Perry J. Brown


Perry J. Brown


An examination was conducted of the potential of proposed highway construction for serving the needs and interests of the population of the Canyonlands Region of southeastern Utah. The history of the highway development issue in the region was first examined with special attention given to the local position on the issue as expressed by local government spokesmen. Next, the total system of development proposals for the region was divided into four sections using criteria of area served and degree of controversy. A map analysis was conducted to determine how these four separate proposals would serve transportation needs of the region. Travel data for 1971 Utah nonresident travelers were utilized to determine present tourism travel and expenditure patterns within the region. Projections were made as to how these patterns would be altered by the four proposals and of how such alterations would affect the tourism industry in the five Canyonlands counties. Region resident perceptions of how the proposals would serve transportation, tourism development, and general economic needs of the region, its counties, and communities were obtained from 231 questionnaires. The same instruments also examined resident preferences for route development.

The analyses indicated that the proposed developments will have few effects on regional transportation needs, and that the impact on the tourism industry will be substantial in some areas within the region and negligible in others. Resident expectations of which proposals would best meet county, community, and household needs were generally realistic. Residents assigned priority for development to proposals anticipated to best serve needs at these levels. Regional needs were not clearly perceived and were not important in determining development preferences. The position on the highway development issue taken by local government leaders distorts the views of residents but does so in a way which generally serves the local interest.