Scenic Utah is a state-wide nonprofit working to protect and enhance the scenic qualities of our communities, landscapes, and roadways.
Scenic Utah launched in 2018 as a bold statewide effort to reduce visual pollution, reclaim our vanishing vistas, and encourage action to protect Utah’s beloved and globally renowned scenery. We are a 501(c)(3) working to focus policy attention on the visual environment, encourage civic engagement, and promote change through education, advocacy, and accountability.
The outdoor advertising industry brags that billboards are the one medium you can’t turn off. But a majority of Utahns wish they could. Turns out, 75% of Utahns agree that billboards are an eyesore in our communities. With such broad consensus on an issue like this, you’d think limiting their proliferation—and removing them where they’re no longer wanted—should be a community’s prerogative. But the billboard lobby is powerful and persuasive. Over many years, Utah has passed a range of laws that pre-empt local governments’ ability to control outdoor advertising, with far-reaching negative economic and social impacts.
Beyond billboards, we keep our eyes on other ‘scenic preservation’ issues.
National Scenic Byways designations recognize roads across the U.S. that exhibit scenic, natural, historic, recreational, archaeological, and/or cultural qualities.
Utah, renowned for its breathtaking natural landscapes, boasts some of the darkest and most pristine night skies in the United States.
Small towns and cities adjacent to Utah’s national parks and public lands face unique challenges in preserving their scenic beauty and heritage.
This terrible legislation will give billboard companies a key role on a new State Scenic Byway Committee and a say in whether new byways should be designated. It sidelines the voices of local governments and scenic preservation advocates, and moves decision-making from local communities to the legislature—where industry uses money and influence to get its way.