Like it or not, the secret is out. Moab’s Mill Creek has seen increasing numbers of visitors, particularly to the Powerdam and North Fork waterfall. With the crowds have come hard decisions about how to manage the area and prevent damage to natural and cultural resources, minimize the impact on neighborhoods in the area, and prevent public safety hazards.
The Mill Creek Community Collaborative is a group of residents, local government officials and representatives of agencies controlling land in the area, including the Bureau of Land Management. For two years, the group has worked to create a plan to address the impacts of increased visitation and manage the Mill Creek Canyon area.
Last year, the group surveyed Moab residents to hear what the community’s priorities for the area are. Questions were aimed at gathering feedback about how locals access the area and what improvements could be made at high-use access points, like popular trailheads.
“While many expressed a wish that things didn’t have to change, there was a strong understanding that the time has come to make some hard decisions about how to manage use increases,” the Mill Creek Community Collaborative pointed out in a press release.
The group said that 69% of respondents suggested ways to limit use, such as limiting daily access or establishing a fee system.
Based on information from last year’s survey, the Collaborative has created four possible options for managing Mill Creek. Plans range from no changes to the present management to establishing a parking area at Potato Salad Hill as a primary access to Mill Creek Canyon.
Collaborative group seeks to address overuse in canyon