Environews, Minis

Environews: Corona Arch Added to National Recreation Trails System

By Amy Brunvand

The popular Corona Arch trail near Moab, Utah has been designated as part of the National Recreation Trail (NRT) System. Although Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made a misleading announcement to say he was expanding recreational opportunities, in fact NRT designation is only available for trails that have existed for at least 10 years.

The Corona Arch trail was preserved thanks to the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009 which set up a land trade of SITLA property in the Colorado River corridor for federal lands elsewhere.

Until the trade was completed in 2014, Corona Arch was located on land owned by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) which meant it was vulnerable to development or being sold. The State of Utah traded for land to develop as oil-shale and tar sands strip mines, so it was something of a devil’s bargain.

Utah has 18 other NRT-designated trails including the Slickrock Bike Trail and the Fisher Towers Trail near Moab.

National Recreation Trails: http://www.americantrails.org/ee/index.php/nationalrecreationtrails

This article was originally published on July 3, 2018.