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Intermountain Region hosts study tour Eastern Europe and Central Asia participants

Group of people, standing outside, listening to a Forest Ranger speak.
Kevin Wright discusses information kiosks and other infrastructure in Pine Valley Recreation Area, Dixie National Forest, with study tour participants. April 24, 2019. USDA Forest Service photo by Bella Gordon

UTAH – From April 21-30, ten individuals from six countries in Eurasia traveled to Utah and Nevada to study recreation infrastructure. During the study tour, participants visited a variety of sites, including Dixie National Forest and Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, to view different infrastructure examples and learn about various recreation programs. The study tour was designed to facilitate discussion and idea sharing among participants and to spark ideas and inspire customized implementation of recreation elements in participants’ home countries. Nancy Brunswick, regional landscape architect, and Kevin Wright, Public Service Staff officer, Dixie National Forest, were instrumental in planning and hosting the study tour.

 

The study tour began with a visit to the Regional Office in Ogden, Utah, where Regional Office staff provided an overview of recreation infrastructure in the USDA. Forest Service. During the visit to Dixie National Forest, including both Pine Valley Recreation Area and Red Canyon, topics of discussion included wilderness areas, trail design and maintenance, visitor centers, partnerships, accessibility, campgrounds, reservation systems and interpretation. From the Forest Service, district ranger Nick, forest engineer Jake Dodds, recreation specialist Del Orme, and visitor center manager Dierdre Apple spent time with the group sharing about their work.

 

At Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, the group discussed high development campgrounds, interpretive planning and the role of partnerships in site management. The group also visited sites managed by other agencies and organizations, including the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Ogden, Utah, Antelope Island State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park.

Group of people posing in front of the Red Canyon Visitor Center sign
Participants pose for a group photo at Red Canyon Visitor Center, Dixie National Forest, where they discussed international visitation, partnerships and other topics. April 26, 2019. USDA Forest Service photo by Lara Peterson
Group of people posing in front of Spring Mountain visitor center sign
Participants, together with Nancy Brunswick (second from right), visit Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Toiyabe National Forest. April 29, 2019. USDA Forest Service Photo by Lara Peterson

 

Participants hailed from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The study tour was organized and hosted by the International Programs office. In recent years, the International Programs office has hosted many recreation-focused activities for the participants’ countries, including study tours and workshops, and built technical cooperation programs on recreation in several countries. In 2018, the USDA Forest Service organized bilateral activities on recreation in Georgia, Uzbekistan and Belarus, and held a wilderness ranger training for participants from Bosnia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania and Russia.