Addressed to Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Chaffetz, Rep. Bishop, Rep. Stewart and Rep. Matheson:
The Utah Outdoor Business Network (UOBN) is a group of Utah businesses that have a stake in public
lands management in Utah. The undersigned businesses depend on recreation assets located on public
lands, and we understand that multiple uses play a key role in a strong and diversified regional economy.
The recent government shutdown is having a significant negative affect on our businesses, as cancellations pour in across the state. We urge you to pass a federal budget that reopens access to Utah’s national parks, national forests, and Bureau of Land Management lands. These public land closures put at risk Utah’s outdoor industry, which annually contributes $3.6 billion in wages and salaries and over $856 million in state and local tax revenue.
The government shutdown has caused the following issues:
• National Park Service lands across Utah closed, including Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce
Canyon, Capitol Reef National Parks and several national monuments and national recreation areas
such as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Zion National Park alone expects to turn
away 10,000 visitors daily during the closure, losing over $50,000 in revenue per day. Also, 4×4
tours are banned from Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and rafting and boating trips halted
in Canyonlands National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
• On Utah’s Bureau of Land Management lands, approximately 60 BLM recreation sites closed
including Little Sahara Recreation Area, and campgrounds in the Moab area, Westwater Canyon on
the Colorado River, Desolation Canyon on the Green River, and the San Juan River. The BLM Utah
has furloughed 744 of its 750 employees. Suspended activities and services include processing of oil
and gas drilling permits, and the processing of lease sales.
• The US Forest Service closed developed campgrounds and picnic areas throughout the state. Some
roads may be gated off, and rented Forest Service facilities will be canceled. The Forest Service
websites and social media are inactive.
Negative affects from the government shutdown in Utah include:
• Jobs – Up to 40,000 Utahns furloughed from their jobs, including civilian defense contractors,
military installations such as Hill Air Force Base, the Internal Revenue Service’s Ogden Service
Center, and the many employees with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and
US Forest Service. Also, Utah state government will furlough approximately 215 employees who
oversee federal programs, including 192 in the Utah National Guard. 270 employees of county
health departments could be furloughed.
• The economy of gateway communities – With October representing one of the year’s biggest
months for gateway communities in Utah, revenues generated at this time of year are critical for
maintaining year round operations. This will have lasting negative effects for business investment
well into 2014.
• Tourists – Families with plans to travel to national parks and other public lands will find their
favorite trails, picnic areas, river put-ins, climbing areas, and campgrounds closed. Despite an
aggressive nationwide PR campaign that highlight Utah’s “five iconic national parks within easy
distance of one another equals one epic bucket list vacation,” local hotels and restaurants will be
empty, shops and guide services will lie dormant, and millions of dollars that communities need will
The Utah Outdoor Business Network urges you to find a way to pass a federal budget and reopen federal public lands throughout Utah. Thank you for considering the needs of Utah residents and all Americans
who depend on our public lands.
Utah Outdoor Business Network