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Management Plan for the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

Snow College in Ephraim, Utah will be the anchor for the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. It will house the $13 million Karen H. Huntsman Library and Heritage Plaza.

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A management plan for the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area has outlined a 10-year developmental plan to increase tourism and
economic development.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area was created by legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and signed into law by President George Bush in 2006.

The legislation authorizes up to $10 million for the heritage area if Utah communities can match that amount.

The heritage area begins in the town of Fairview in Sanpete County and runs south along 400 miles of highways (U.S. 89 and highways 12 and 24) through parts of six southern Utah counties in central and southern Utah to the Arizona border.

The "Mormon corridor" comprises five heritage areas:

  • Little Denmark (the influence of Scandinavian pioneers).
  • Sevier Valley (where farmers and ranchers follow the Native American tradition of living off the land).
  • Headwaters (communities along the rivers and tributaries of southern Utah).
  • Under the Rim (lands below the redrock rims of the Colorado plateau).
  • Boulder Mountain Loop (some of the most isolated towns in America, and home to the Capital Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks).

The historic preservation plan, which will need approval by the Interior Department, calls for creation of a "traditional building-skills institute," offering workshops and a degree to "perpetuate the artisan and craft skills" associated with pioneers who settled in the area.

"This (plan) will enhance the experience of people visiting these areas of Utah and encourage research, preservation of cultural resources, recreation opportunities and economic development," said Monte Bona, director of the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance, the group that spearheaded creation of the heritage area.

Cordell Roy, who is with the National Park Service and helped coordinate the project with the state, said the designation will help communities get funding to preserve and market their individual attractions.

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May 19, 2019, 8:22 am PDT

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