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Utilizing Irrigation Canals in Northern Utah for Recreational Trail Use: An Evaluation of Issues and Concerns

See an article based on this thesis: Using transportation and utility corridors for trails

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Logan, Utah, 2000 -- A Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

by James G. Carlson [Copyright James G. Carlson 2000 - All Rights Reserved]

Map of Utah ABSTRACT
This study fills a need for documentation of the issues and concerns related to planning recreational trails along irrigation canal rights-of-way through interviews with canal company officials and research of related literature. While this study provides valuable information for recreation planners and cities involved in the planning and development of these canal trails within northern Utah, it also has a universal application that will aid anyone interested in taking on the often complex task of developing a canal trail. The report will be reformatted and summarized in a smaller publication for the purpose of informing and educating planners. The report does not attempt to address the validity of the many issues and concerns, but rather, attempts to increase awareness of their legitimacy and existence.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION

General Background and Challenges
Informal Use
Conflicts of Interest
Liability Issues
Ownership and Legal Standing
Need for Open Space Conservation
Need for Linkage of Open Space
Need for a Large Scale Pilot Project
The Extinction of Experience
Scope of the Study
General Goals of the Research
Significance of the Study
Disclaimer

Right: Trail bridge over one of Logan, Utah's irrigation canals

photo: bridge over creek

CHAPTER II. HISTORY OF UTAH'S WATER DEVELOPMENT

Vital Role in Successful Civilization
Mormon Settlement of Utah
History of Conflicts
Doctrine of Prior Appropriation
New Era of Irrigation
Evolution of the Mutual Irrigation Company
Improving Water Systems
Historical Significance of Irrigation Canals

CHAPTER III. RECREATIONAL USE OF CANALS

Canal Trail Benefits
Economic Benefits
Social Benefits
Flora and Fauna Benefits
Cultural Preservation
Pilot Projects as Models
Underlying Values
Utah's Recreational Use Statute
Background
Challenges
Affected Parties
Regional, County and Local Communities
Canal Company/Water Authority
Adjacent Landowners
Trail Users

CHAPTER IV. ADJACENT LANDOWNER CONCERNS

Common Adjacent Landowner Concerns and Related Literature
Increased Crime
Decreased Property Value
Increased Liability
Maintenance and Management
Fear of Something New

CHAPTER V. CANAL COMPANY INTERVIEWS

Interview Surveys
Interview Development and Methodology
Survey Pre-Test
Interview Population
Setting up the Interview
Preliminary Information
Current Use by the Public
Liability and Injury
Legal Information
Potential Trail/Recreational Development
Canal Operation and Maintenance
General Concerns
Conclusion

CHAPTER VI. CONCLUSION

Liability Issues
Fear of Litigation
Risk Management Efforts
Utah's Limitation of Landowner Liability
Indemnification and Hold Harmless
Maintenance and Management Issues
Operation and Maintenance Impacts
Implementation Measures
Adjacent Landowner Concerns
Crime Issues
Preventative Measures
The Public Process
Building a Broad Based Coalition
The Opposition Challenge
Value of Canal Trails
Direction for Future Research

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A: Questionnaire

APPENDIX B: Interviews

APPENDIX C: Utah's Recreational Use Statute/Amendment

APPENDIX D: Example of Recreational Use Agreement

APPENDIX E: Examples of Signage

Related topics:

More resources:


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