Bureau of Land Management transfers 155 acres within Three Peaks Recreation Area to Iron County

IRON COUNTY — A 155-acre parcel within the Three Peaks Recreation Area that had been managed for two decades by Iron County under a lease agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has been officially deeded over to the county.

Entrance to Iron County Park within the Three Peaks Recreation Area, Iron County, Utah, Sept. 25, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

In a brief ceremony held at a pavilion within the site on Saturday morning, which also happened to be National Public Lands Day, Paul Briggs, field manager for the BLM’s Cedar City office, first talked about the history of the Three Peaks area, both before and after the various improvements that have been made over the past 20-plus years.

The Three Peaks Recreation Area now includes extensive trails for mountain bikes, in addition to horseback, hiking and ATV trails. It also has designated areas for flying model airplanes and remote control cars, plus two disc golf courses and camping and picnic spots, among other amenities.

“There were several folks here with Iron County that had the foresight to see what was going to happen here, in the need for a much more developed, expansive recreation area for the people of Iron County,” Briggs said, noting that such agreements are enabled by the federal Recreation and Public Purposes Act.

“The first time I came up here, nobody knew what a mountain bike was. And now we have 1,500 to 1,700 riders on a weekend out here at the regional NICA races,” he said, referring to the events staged in recent years by the Utah High School Cycling League, the state’s affiliate of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.

“I think it’s been a great boon to the economy as well, and that’s due to the foresight of people that are willing to take advantage,” Briggs added. 

Former Iron County Commissioner Lois Bulloch (second from left) stands in front of pavilion sign along with (L-R) Mike Bleak, Marilyn Wood, Paul Briggs and Paul Cozzens, Three Peaks Recreation Area, Iron County, Utah, Sept. 25, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Briggs said the BLM has had a healthy partnership with the county over the years.

“We’ve always really enjoyed working with Iron County and are just really happy to be here today to be able to just kick it through the uprights, if you will,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Following Briggs’ remarks, the land patent document signifying the transfer was officially signed. 

All three Iron County Commissioners – Marilyn Wood, Paul Cozzens and Mike Bleak – were in attendance.

But it was former Iron County Commissioner Lois Bulloch whose presence was highlighted Saturday morning, as the pavilion where the ceremony took place was officially named in her honor.

Nearly 20 members of Bulloch’s family, including children and grandchildren, were on hand to witness the unveiling of the pavilion’s new sign, as an emotional Bulloch reacted with delight and surprise.

Bulloch, who served on the commission for eight years starting in 1999, was commended for being “Three Peaks’ greatest supporter and champion,” according to an inscription on the plaque that will be mounted at the pavilion. She was cited as being instrumental in getting the Three Peaks improvements under way, including spearheading early fundraising efforts.

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