The Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin Scenic Byway is named All-American Road | People
SWEETWATER COUNTY – The Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism Board held a ribbon severance at the Flaming Gorge Gateway Sign on US HWY 191South on Wednesday, June 9th, to promote the designation of the Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway as an All-American Road to celebrate.
The Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism Board, along with several partners around the Byway, filed an application with the Federal Highway Administration in 2020 and the application was successful, making the Byway one of only 37 designated All-American Roads in the country . https://cms8.fhwa.dot.gov/newsroom/usdot-announces-new-americas-bywaysr-designations
“This has been a dream for over 20 years,” said Jenissa Meredith, executive director of Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism, in a press release. “I was fortunate to have helped prepare this application over a decade ago when Dave Hanks, former CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, brought me on the project. It is a great honor that this designation finally becomes a reality. “
In total, the Federal Highway Administration announced 49 new names for the America’s Byways collection, including 15 All-American Roads and 34 National Scenic Byways in 28 states. This brings the number of America’s Byways to 184 in 48 states. All-American Road is the highest level of designation and is reserved for back roads that provide an experience so extraordinary that travelers make driving along the route the primary reason for their trip. This is the first time since 2009 that the Federal Highway Administration has designated new Scenic Byways and All-American Roads.
The National Scenic Byways Program, established in 1991, is a collaborative effort to identify, maintain, and improve select roads in the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes certain roads based on one or more archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities.
On September 22, 2019, the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019 was signed by the President and incorporated into public law 116-57. This law requires the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to obtain nominations for specific roads to be designated as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads under the National Scenic Byways program based on their archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities . https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/scenic_byways/
“With their many unique qualities, each of these new additions to the National Scenic Byways program helps America’s roads tell our national story,” said Tom Everett, executive director of the Federal Highway Administration, in a press release. “These special routes offer travelers exciting new ways to explore the nation, coast to coast or very close to you.”
The Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin route runs in the southwest corner of Wyoming on two north-south roads that extend south from I-80 to the Utah state line and parallel to the Green River and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area run away. The site is approximately 275 miles south of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and 180 miles east of Salt Lake City, Utah.
The natural landscape of the Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway is huge with diverse habitats that are largely untouched by human activity, making the recreation plentiful and the experience particularly enjoyable. But it is the drive itself across the vast panorama of land and sky that is awe-inspiring, nationally significant, and worthy of the name All-American Road.
“The Flaming Gorge is by far our greatest tourist capital. This label will provide funding opportunities and bring this area to the fore like never before, ”said Meredith.
The Byway nomination was prepared with input from several key contestants, including Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism – Jenissa Meredith; Flaming Gorge Corporation – Jerry Taylor; Red Canyon Lodge and Flaming Gorge – Uintas National Scenic Byway – Mark Wilson; US Forest Service and Flaming Gorge – Uintas National Scenic Byway – Don Jacques and Corridor Solutions – Wanda Maloney.
“We are so happy to have such exceptional partners both locally and in Utah. This naming would not have been possible without the joint efforts of all key participants and corridor partners, ”said Meredith.
The corridor management plan also had to be updated in preparation for the application. Stakeholders focused on re-evaluating visitor experience needs and alternative options for providing information, and developing strategies to continue leveraging the expertise of Byway’s public and private partners and building on marketing success.
The contributions to the update of the corridor management plan included:
– Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism: Jenissa Meredith
– Red Canyon Lodge and Flaming Gorge / Uintas National Scenic Byways: Mark Wilson
– Flaming Gorge Corporation: Jerry Taylor
– Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce: Rick Lee
– Green River Chamber of Commerce: Lisa Herrera
– Ashley National Forest and Flaming Gorge / Uintas National Scenic Byways: Don Jacques
– Utah Division of Wildlife: Ron Stewart
– Intermountain Natural History Association: Richard Millett
– Land Management Bureau: Kimberly Foster
– Wyoming Department of Transportation: Janelle Leonard
– Corridor solutions: Wanda Maloney
“The goal of the Flaming Gorge – Green River Basin Scenic Byway nomination as an All-American Road has been fully endorsed and championed by Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism and key business owners in Utah and Wyoming since 2010. Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism provided funding for advisor support to Corridor Solutions to develop the nomination. CS has worked with the Byway organizations in Utah and Wyoming since 2010 and values the combined corridor experience and the importance of the intrinsic qualities of each state, ”said Wanda Maloney of Corridor Solutions in a press release.
For more information, call 307-382-2538.