About the Utah Gateway Community Forum

The Event

Recognizing the significance of the two-way relationship between public lands and gateway communities, the Southwest Regional Office of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) along with a team of dedicated community leaders decided to host Utah's first-ever Gateway Community Forum on November 7th at Sundance Resort. The event's premise was simple: Utah's national parks and monuments and the visitors they attract impact the economies, businesses, and residents of neighboring cities and towns. Successful collaboration, communication, and partnerships among gateway communities and public land managers can help protect quality of life for community residents, while shared advocacy efforts can help preserve the natural and cultural treasures in our national parks and monuments.

An event two years in the making, the forum provided state and community leaders and public land managers the opportunity to discuss unique challenges, solve complex problems, develop best practices, and begin a process of supporting one another as Utah develops its communities as gateways. In total, the event drew more than 100 participants from communities and public lands across the state.

What's more the forum helped to generate several "community action teams"— self-organized groups of people who decide to work together because they share a common issue. Some of the issues central to these groups included economic development, collaboration, tourism, lands access, and local community branding. Not surprisingly, it is our hope at NPCA that these communities of practice will over time, help to further strengthen the relationships between gateway communities and their neighboring national parks, leading to greater success stories for both.

For these reasons NPCA remains committed to providing the resources necessary to sustain the momentum generated by the forum. These resources include the facilitation of meetings, continued community outreach, and the maintenance of a dedicated website. Together, all of these approaches can help to ensure that our public land managers and community leaders come together so that we can protect for present and future generations not only our national parks and monuments, but also the communities that rely upon them. 

Event Sponsors

  • American Express
  • Zions Bank
  • Utah Office of Tourism
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Red Cliffs Lodge
  • David Pettit Photography
  • Sundance Mountain Resort
  • Dave's Corner Market
  • Zion Canyon Visitor Bureau
  • Mill Creek Cacao Roasters
  • Inn at the Canyons

Why Should I Use this Website?

This website is the only one of its kind and contains a variety of useful information including links to valuable community funding sources, an event calendar, a library of successful collaboration stories, an interactive discussion board, and a directory of key Utah gateway community and public lands contacts. By using this website you will better understand the complexity and importance of Utah's gateway communities and their relationships with adjacent public lands.

How to Get Involved

We want you to join us if you have an interest in Utah's gateway communities.

  • Join a Community Action Team
  • Share your stories of successful community & public land collaboration projects
  • Share information – events for the calendar and grant opportunities
  • Use the "connect" social forum to ask questions of other community leaders and public land managers

If you have questions about the website or would like to submit an event to our calendar or a success story to our archive, please contact us.

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