Officials working on management plan for Snow Canyon State Park
User group concerned that the public will be left out of the process.
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State and local officials are collaborating on a management agreement for Snow Canyon State Park in Washington County but much work is left to be done, said Utah State Parks Director Fred Hayes.

"We are talking and on the right track working on a memorandum of understanding as required by the Resource Management Plan," Hayes said Thursday. "We are looking to make sure we have all the wording right and that we aren't violating any laws."

State Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George, came up with a bill early this year that would have transferred management of the popular park to local officials. He said he was reacting to complaints from his constituents about limited access at the park and a required entrance fee just to pass through Snow Canyon.

Ipson's bill never made it to a public hearing, but the repercussions may last for years.

Utah State Parks officials have recognized some issues involving local community leaders involvement in management of the park, but are not ready to relinquish management of Snow Canyon.

Kai Reed, president of the Friends of Snow Canyon State Park, is still worried the agreement will only include state or local government officials and leave out the people who love the park.

She said a first draft of the memorandum of understanding, as reported to her group, includes the creation of a committee comprised of government officials from Washington County and the cities of Ivins, Santa Clara and St. George. One representative from Utah State Parks would be included in the five-member board managing Snow Canyon.

"The Resource Management Plan is pretty specific that management should include stakeholders and user groups," Reed said. "That makes more sense to us than an additional layer of oversight made up of just local officials and leaves out the public."