Exhibits: Resources: ATV Use
Building the Trail
Once the main loop of the trail system was in place, a network of side trails began to take shape, providing access to communities like Richfield, Marysvale, and Fillmore. Other trails extended into lesser known and less traveled parts of the forest forming many loops and quality riding opportunities. Some of these trails connected the Paiute ATV Trail with the Great Western Trail, a multiple-use trail, which will eventually extend from the Canadian to the Mexican border. This connection provided a tie with trail systems on neighboring Dixie and Manti LaSal National forests, expanding the motorized trail riding opportunities.
Although the State of Utah is richly endowed with magnificent landscapes like Arches and Canyonlands national parks, these and other "destination points" are far from Fishlake National Forest, and left the south central part of the state out of the lucrative tourist industry. Economic development folks were looking for something that would hold people for a few days; a destination recreational opportunity which would bring people with money into the area. The rising popularity of ATVs and establishment of the Paiute ATV Trail, provided that destination recreation opportunity. The Paiute Trail Committee came up with an ambitious plan: to provide ATV riders direct access to towns along the trail system. Riders could leave their trucks and trailers at one trailhead then ride their ATVs for several days, going into towns along the trail for gas, meals, motels and other services. The concept caught on and more and more businesses began to cater to ATV riders. New enterprises were also born, offering everything from ATV rentals, guide services, ATV accessories, service and repair, campsites and sack lunches. In 2001 over 60,000 people rode the Paiute and Great Western Trail System and they contributed more than $4 million to the economy of four counties and 16 participating communities.
This unique recreational riding opportunity, known affectionately as the "Paiute" all came together as a result of an aggressive and very successful effort of forming partnerships known as the Paiute ATV Trail Committee. Members of the committee included representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, local travel councils, county economic development agencies, county commissioners, law enforcement agencies, chambers of commerce, local businesses, riding clubs and individuals who like to ride. Over the years this unique, all volunteer administrative-advisory committee became recognized as an example of cooperation and teamwork, providing a bridge for interaction between land users and federal, state and local agencies. It is safe to say, that the Paiute ATV Trail would not exist had not all the parties joined in a collaborative effort to bring the need for access, need for economic stability and the need for better and responsible resource management together into a working group that met the needs of all parties belonging to it.
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