While many are hopeful for economic recovery in the oil and gas industry, public officials realize the importance of diversifying the local economy. According to Senator Kevin VanTassell, transportation is among the biggest challenges in diversifying the economy. “We are limited to one highway in and out,” shares VanTassell. “I think if we can get improved access to our area it will help to bring more people as they plan vacations.” Even with the current roads, the efforts of local leaders to boost tourism and recreation in northeastern Utah are working. VanTassell points to the success of the 1st annual Outlaw ATV Jamboree held last July in the Vernal area as well as the announcement that the Utah Symphony will be performing at Dinosaur National Monument next fall. Simply put, more people are and will be visiting the Basin and realizing the get-a-way it truly is. VanTassell also emphasized the need for improved transportation as far as the oil and gas industry is concerned. Additional highway access as well as improved infrastructure and pipelines to save on long term truck traffic is needed. County leaders continue to work on these and other factors that affect the economy but the process is slow and simply takes time.