The Public Lands BreakAway is an opportunity for students to explore some of the more isolated public land areas in the American west.
Dates: March 2 to 9, 2019
Destination: Capitol Reef National Park, Bears Ears Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park
Leaders: Kevin Klein and T.J. Devine
Cost: $1,800 ($800 when a $1,000 subsidy is applied)
Through this exploration, and course content, students will better understand the environmental, economic, and political landscapes associated with several National Parks and Monuments in Utah. In this BreakAway, we want to describe this decision making process as it applies to the red rock region in Utah. Economic theory suggests that people receive benefits from participating in recreational activities. The benefit from recreating is weighed against the travel costs and damages from using the resource. While we participate in the BreakAway activities, we will program in daily discussion time periods that encourage questions about why the area is preserved for these recreational uses. Economists believe it is because the benefits exceed the costs at the margin. Through experiential learning, we will ask the students to consider the value of being able to witness the high density arches in Arches National Park, hike in the Bears Ears National Monument, mountain bike on the slick rocks petrified sand dunes, horseback ride in a Chaparral ecosystem, or White water raft on the Colorado river. Take away these opportunities and there is a loss in social value.