May 23, 2024

CANRI to Share Results of Tourism Study

Bear Lake and Garden City as seen from an overlook on U.S. Highway 89 in 2020. (Photo Credit: Andrew McAllister)
Bear Lake and Garden City as seen from an overlook on U.S. Highway 89 in 2020. (Photo Credit: Andrew McAllister).

Utah State University will host a community event at Bear Lake this weekend to share data on increased tourism at the recreation hotspot straddling the Utah-Idaho border.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at City Hall Lakeview Room (Building C) at 69 N. Paradise Pkwy in Garden City. The preliminary results of a six-month research study on Bear Lake will be presented.

USU researchers and students from the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Communication Studies and Philosophy led the project, which included interviews with over 40 different scientists, community members and nonprofit representatives to better understand the impacts of increased tourism on Bear Lake ecosystems and communities.

A beloved freshwater lake, Bear Lake’s popularity as a tourist hotspot has raised questions about long-term sustainability. Preliminary findings of the research will address historical and scientific concerns related to the lake’s ecosystems and communities as expressed by the study’s participants. The presentation is intended to inform future community activities and outreach initiatives.

"We are excited to host this event and provide a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration," said Betsy Brunner, director of the research project. "This event will offer attendees the opportunity to learn about measures they can take to help protect and preserve this incredibly unique place that we all love."

Funded by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands and awarded through USU’s Institute for Land, Water and Air as part of a larger initiative that is examining Bear Lake water quality, quantity, wildlife, plant life and more, the project was conducted in affiliation with the Community and Natural Resources Institute.

This event is open to anyone interested in the current and future state of tourism and development of Bear Lake. Light refreshments will be provided. To learn more about the event or RSVP, please email elizabeth.brunner@usu.edu.

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