GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK, Utah. — Last week the Bureau of Land Management conveyed over 6,300 acres of federal public land to the Utah Division of State Parks, which will be utilized to expand Goblin Valley State Park in southeastern Utah.
A martian-like setting, Goblin Valley State park is a mesmerizing and mysterious landscape with exposed cliffs, mushroom-like rock structures and red sand. Originally discovered by cowboys in the 1920’s, the park was officially opened in 1964 and has been a Utah favorite for many years.
As for the expansion, the land transfer is part of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, a bipartisan effort that comprised more than 100 individual bills introduced by 50 Senators and several House members, including Utah’s Senator Mitt Romney. The land was conveyed at no cost to the state or county. Included in the land transfer is a site for a new Emery County Sheriff’s Office Substation and improved space for historical exhibits at the Buckhorn Information Center.
Bureau of Land Management Director, Tracy Stone-Manning, offered thanks to legislators for putting differences aside to make this conveyance possible.
“Because of what that act allows us to do at BLM, we get to take action to benefit the people of Utah,” Stone-Manning said. “Today’s land conveyances show that we can forge partnerships that the Dingle Act makes possible.”
To commemorate the expansion, an event was held and attended by many Utah state representatives, congressional staffers, and Emery County elected officials.
Brian Steed, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, expressed his excitement and gratitude to be there after working on this project for the last five years.
“This essentially triples the size of Goblin Valley State Park,” Steed said, ”which is no small feat!”
As for the future of the park, Jeff Rasmussen, Director of Utah State Parks, shared that dispersed camping will continue with a 14-day limit. Individuals can look forward to possible new campgrounds, restrooms, trailheads, and access to amenities to improve the visitor experience.