Date: August 22, 2008
Brian Cottam, Associate Director
Southern Utah University Office of Regional Services
BRYCE CANYON CITY — Garfield County planning initiatives, including an update on Ticaboo and uranium development, as well as planning and projects along Scenic Byway 12, will be among the topics discussed at the Southwest Utah Planning Authorities Council (SUPAC) bi-monthly meeting on Sept. 3, 2008, at Bryce Canyon National Park.
Justin Fischer, Garfield County’s Circuit Rider Planner and Director of Economic Development, will discuss the county’s planning initiatives and will provide information on development in and around the town of Ticaboo. John Holland, Scenic Byway 12 Coordinator, will discuss specifics of Byway planning and how participation in the National Scenic Byways program has led to project and community funding along the Byway.
The 1 p.m. meeting, which will be held in the main Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center, will be preceded by a field trip to Tropic to tour the town’s new community center and town hall, an affordable housing project, Main Street improvements, and a new town well. Departure for Tropic will be from the lobby at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon City at 8:45 a.m.
After the field trip to Tropic, SUPAC members will return to Ruby’s Inn for a presentation by Bryce Canyon City officials about planning endeavors in the newly created town. The morning field trip will conclude with a tour of the new public transportation building in Bryce Canyon City, which provides shuttle service into the adjacent national park. Lunch will be served at the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center at 12:15 p.m. with the SUPAC meeting to follow.
In addition to presentations from Fischer and Holland, SUPAC members will be introduced to Rene Berkhoud, new manager of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Berkhoud will discuss management planning and projects at the national monument. An update about Bryce Canyon National Park will also be provided by Park Superintendent Eddie Lopez, and a Dixie National Forest representative will present information about recent motorized travel planning and the current Forest-wide oil and gas analysis.
SUPAC invites county and municipal elected officials, economic development directors, planning commissioners, and planning professionals, as well as all interested members of the public, to attend the meeting. Lunch with SUPAC members is available at a cost of $10 per person. If interested in attending lunch, please contact Kathleen McDowell, 435.586.7738, before Aug. 29 to RSVP.
SUPAC is a regional collaboration of state and federal agencies and local governments whose geographic emphasis is Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington counties. Created by then-Gov. Michael O. Leavitt in 1994, SUPAC aims to facilitate shared goals and strategies for planning and resource development, as well as to enhance information-sharing and cooperation among agencies, organizations and local governments in southwest Utah.
Cooperators include federal agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service; state agencies, such as the Governor’s Office and Department of Natural Resources; and local governments and organizations in the five-county region. SUPAC is administered by SUU’s Office of Regional Services.
Wes Curtis, SUU’s Vice President for Government Relations and Regional Services, serves as SUPAC chair. He said the organization provides a consistent opportunity for communication with the highest levels of government focused on important community planning and development issues in southwest Utah, such as public lands, natural resources and transportation.
"These can be very controversial topics," Curtis said, "but SUPAC provides a safe forum to discuss these and other critical issues for our region."
SUPAC is not a planning or advisory committee, Curtis pointed out. Rather, it is a cooperative effort focused on getting decision-makers together to exchange information, minimize misunderstandings, and seek solutions to important regional planning challenges.
SUPAC meetings occur every two months at locations that rotate among the participating counties. Anyone interested in more information about the cooperative effort or desiring to be added to the SUPAC e-mail list can contact SUU Regional Services at 435.865.8023 or email@example.com.