Bill would create 'Utahraptor State Park' with $10M price tag

Utahraptor Ostrommaysi skeleton. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A bill under consideration Thursday at the Utah State Capitol would create a new state park with a cost of $10 million to taxpayers.

House Bill 322, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason (R - District 45), would use portions of the Dalton Wells area near Moab to create "Utahraptor State Park." Parts of Grand County, where the park would be located, are rich with dozens of dinosaur fossils.

According to the bill, $10 million would be appropriated once for the entire project. That money would come from Utah's General Fund.

A Google search for Dalton Wells, Utah brings up a campground near Arches National Park.

The bill does not specify the exact location where the park will be located, but some of that $10 million would be used to "receive donations, engage in land transfers, and purchase land or facilities in the surrounding area for inclusion in Utahraptor State Park."

The bill, as it is currently written, reads:

Utahraptor State Park shall be included within the state park system. The division may not open Utahraptor State Park to the public for use as a state park until the division has received sufficient funding from the State Building Board or from General Funds to provide for capital improvements and any necessary land acquisitions. Land acquisitions and capital investments will be made at the park in a way that allows Utahraptor State Park to remain financially self-sustaining. Ongoing operations at Utahraptor State Park shall be funded through the Division of Parks and Recreation's restricted fees account.