State approves grant funding for Courthouse Rock campground corrals

The Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation (OOR) has approved $5,724.44 in grant funding for the Courthouse Rock campground corrals project.

The project, which has a total price tag of just more than $33,700, proposes the construction of two new horse corrals at the Courthouse Rock Campground to increase accessibility of equestrian trails, which will grow the local tourism economy, according to an OOR press release.

The campground is located 16 miles north of downtown Moab, off Mill Canyon Road.

According to Grand County Community Development Director Zacharia Levine, groundbreaking on the project is set for this fall or winter, with an estimated completion date in winter 2018. Levine added that the remainder of project funding will come from a $25,000 in-kind contribution from the Bureau of Land Management, $1,500 from the Backcountry Horsemen of America-Canyonlands Chapter and $1,500 from Grand County.

The OOR grants for recreation projects total just more than $2.8 million — including grant funds, matching funds and private investment.

According to OOR, the project is expected to double the number of equestrian visitor days at the campground because of their close access to many of Moab’s equestrian trails. Because there are currently just three commercial campgrounds that accommodate large trailers with horses, Courthouse Rock Campground and the two proposed corrals would facilitate this growth in equestrian activity, OOR said in a statement.

The Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant assists with investing in trails, campgrounds, bike parks and more. The 2017 awards include more than $435,000 in grant funding for 14 projects statewide. Sixty-five percent of the approved funds will support projects in rural counties.

“Our goal is to ensure all Utah residents can live a healthy, active lifestyle through outdoor recreation,” said Tom Adams, director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation. “We work with our local partners to build healthy communities and support the outdoor recreation economy. These projects demonstrate Utah’s commitment to fostering close-to-home recreation opportunities.”

The Outdoor Recreation Grant is expanding as well. Earlier this year, the Utah State Legislature implemented a new Outdoor Recreation Fund, which will generate up to $5 million each year for the next five years to support the program. Grant funding is expected to increase in 2018.

ByBy Greg Knight

The Times-Independent