Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Barty Warren-Kretzschmar


Barty Warren-Kretzschmar


Ole Sleipness


Laura Ault


Visitation to the Moab region has increased significantly in recent years, causing campgrounds near town to be consistently full. The Dalton Wells area, a recreation area off Highway 191 just north of Moab, has become an especially popular place for dispersed camping, as it is free and in close proximity to town. Dalton Wells does not have the infrastructure or management necessary to support the current number of visitors, straining the site’s fragile desert ecosystem. The site also hosts a dinosaur quarry and the foundations of a historic CCC camp. These resources are unmaintained and at risk of pillaging and decay. State Sovereign Lands has ownership of Dalton Wells, and is in need of a plan that would provide public access for campers and other recreationalists who use the area’s trail systems, while protecting the cultural and natural resources of the site. The objective of this thesis is to address State Sovereign Land's need, and identify and resolve the issues caused by dispersed camping at Dalton Wells. This project utilizes the Bioregional Planning Process, a system of planning which considers how bio-physical, socio-cultural, and economic land use patterns influence future plans and development. For Dalton Wells, a larger, landscape-level analysis will inform the design, development, and programming of a site-scale master plan. The planning process includes a pre-analysis with site visits and stakeholder meetings, documenting the structure and function of the landscape, landscape analysis and mapping, modeling land-use alternatives, and the development of a master plan. The resulting master plan will resolve the issues caused by dispersed camping at Dalton Wells, by providing campgrounds, day use areas, and other recreational infrastructure, and improving the system of roads, trailheads, and signage at the site. The master plan will also celebrate the existing CCC Camp and Dinosaur Quarry, by finding appropriate solutions for interpretive programming. Finally, the plan will provide recommendations for management and protection of the site’s scenic qualities.