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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache is Second-Most Popular Forest in the US

Some 8.9 million people visit the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest every year, making it the second-most popular forest in the US.

The Daily Herald has this article about the forest. Below are excerpts.

A year after the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache national forests were combined, officials have announced the forest is the second-most visited in the nation.

The two forests were combined to save an estimated $2 million a year in administrative expenses.

With the economy as it is, the increasing popularity of the forest may be because more people are looking for recreation opportunities closer to home, said Lorraine Januzelli, spokeswoman for the forest. Surveys show that just over half of all visitors here live within 25 miles of the forest, just over 90 percent live within 100 miles of the forest, and just 9 percent live farther away.

"Forty-two percent come to hike, and then the next-biggest group is people who come to view nature," she said.

The sheer number of visitors means that it becomes everyone's job to help protect the forest for future generations, both Januzelli and Velarde said.

"Obviously that is a huge impact for us," said Velarde of the number of visitors. "First and foremost, we are there to protect the forest."

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