A plan to establish Utahraptor State Park in the area of Dalton Wells, north of Arches National Park, has stalled over concerns with the $10 million price tag attached to the project.
In a vote of three yeas, nays and abstentions each, a motion to recommend the bill failed, as first reported by The Salt Lake Tribune. The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee made the vote Monday, March 2 after receiving the bill, H.B. 322, from the Utah State House of Representatives, which voted in favor of it by a vote of 45 yeas, 23 nays and 7 abstentions.
Some officials said they had concerns about designating the area as a state park when sufficient funds to develop the park might not exist this year.
“It is my hope that some way, if this bill does pass this session, that somehow those funds are scraped up to be able to make it work,” Jeff Rasmussen, director of the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, told The Tribune. “Because the other scenario would be a new park with a state park name without the funding to take care of it.”
State Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, said his bill is written such that the state could not open the park until there are sufficient funds to develop it. However, several members of Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee opposed advancing the proposal, saying there is a scarcity of general fund dollars this year.