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Utah State Office
Release Date: 02/22/13
Contacts: Larry Crutchfield , 435-644-1209  

Hole in the Rock Area Recreation Study to Kick Off

The public is invited to join the conversation about recreation management and the places accessed via Hole in the Rock Road that are considered special during the first of four rounds of focus groups hosted by Colorado Mesa University’s Natural Resource Center and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument March 8 and 9 in Escalante and Boulder.

The sessions are the first phase of the GSENM Recreation Experience Baseline Study being conducted by CMU to help the BLM better respond to the public’s desires and expectations for how recreation there is managed. The study seeks to engage local leaders, business owners, residents, and visitors that either participate in recreational activities in this area of the Monument or have a stake in the quality of the experience of those that do.

The idea behind the focus groups is to open dialogue between GSENM and the public on recreation issues, to provide information for future planning efforts and project assessments, and to gather data needed to better understand the public’s desired outcomes for recreation management in the Hole in the Rock Road area.

The focus groups will be facilitated by Dr. Tim Casey, Professor of Political Science at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. Dr. Casey is a lead researcher and field coordinator at NRC and has extensive experience working with BLM on similar social science projects on the Colorado Plateau. He has been responsible for facilitation of public meetings and focus groups regarding public lands since 2006. 

Each focus group session will last approximately one hour and is limited to 30 people. The schedule, times, locations, and target participants are noted below:

Friday -  March 8
4:00 PM
Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
GSENM Outfitter & Guides
Friday -  March 8
7:00 PM
Escalante Interagency Visitor Center
Area Visitors
Saturday -  March 9
9:00 AM
Escalante City Council Chambers
Escalante Community Leaders & Business Owners
Saturday -  March 9
11:00 AM
Escalante City Council Chambers
Escalante Residents
Saturday -  March 9
2:00 PM
Boulder Community Center
Boulder Community Leaders & Business Owners
Those not available to participate in the March sessions will have other opportunities later this year to have their voices heard. Three more rounds of focus groups will be scheduled for May, July and September. Additionally, live web-based sessions will also be utilized as part of the study. In these sessions, dates yet to be determined, participants from far and wide can join the conversation from the comfort of their homes using a phone and computer.
This first phase of the study has been funded by a National Landscape Conservation System Science Grant and Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act fees. If funding allows, additional areas of the Monument will be studied in subsequent years.

For more information about this project and to RSVP to guarantee a spot in one of the sessions, please contact Allysia Angus, GSENM Landscape Architect/Land Use Planner at 435-826-5615 or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Utah State Office   440 West 200 South, Suite 500      SLC, UT 84101-1345  

Last updated: 02-22-2013