Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Committee Chair(s)

John D. Hunt


John D. Hunt


E. Boyd Wennergren


Gordon N. Keller


J. Alan Wagar


Providing adequate outdoor recreational opportunities to the public is now a national problem. Of the many influences affecting the demand for recreation, increased income, population increase, sociological changes, and rapidly increasing technological developments are the more important. In the face of these factors, we must plan better to insure sufficient future needs. This will require evaluation and development of many recreation opportunities.

The Bear Lake are of northeastern Utah and southeastern Idaho is situated along U.S. 89 and within close driving distance of much of Utah's population. Up to the present there has been little orderly or planned development of Bear Lake. Nevertheless use of the area has been increasing, particularly for water-oriented sports. Many parties traveling through the area are on their way to the Northern parks, i.e., Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier, or from these parks to Salt Lake City and points south or west. Thus, if the Bear Lake area were developed to provide services to the tourist, economic benefit to the area may be increased.

To date, lakeside development by farmers has resulted in a "shanty" appearance, with old barns, sheds, and various log structures. No zoning regulations have been initiated for the lake shore areas. A local service group, the Bear Lake Improvement Association, is considering various ideas to improve the existing facilities as well as ideas for developing new facilities. The group's primary purpose at the present is to improve the lake's appearance by clean-up efforts and to advertise the area through the use of pamphlets and signs. This attempt may acquaint more people with the recreational opportunities and facilities offered in Bear Lake Valley.

Currently, the economy of the Bear Lake area is primarily agricultural. However, the limited amount of tillable soil and the short growing season greatly restrict the agricultural potential of the area. Additional income-producing endeavors of a recreational nature could be explored. The Bear Lake area has many undeveloped attractions which could be developed to draw tourists. Because of these opportunities, research has been undertaken to examine the possibility of expanded recreational development by private operation in the Bear Lake area.