Utah Lake

Conserving our Lake for the Future

Utah Lake is the heart of Utah valley. It moderates our weather and provides us with both water and recreation. We haven’t always been good stewards of Utah Lake, but in recent years we’ve made a lot of progress in cleaning it up.

However, a company calling itself “Lake Restoration Solutions” is proposing to dredge the lake and build islands from the sediment, turning Utah Lake into real estate. And they’ve pushed for this proposal in very shady and dishonest ways, including suing a BYU professor who called out their sketchy science.

Utah Lake has always been shallow and cloudy. That is its natural state. Dredging up artificial islands would leave the remaining water deep and clear. This proposal reminds me of the scripture found in Alma 41:12-13: “And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature? Behold, my son, this is not the case.” Dredging up islands would put Utah Lake in an unnatural state. That’s not a restoration; it’s a transformation. The very name “Lake Restoration Solutions” is a falsehood. Sadly, it seems to be just another way that rich developers are trying to make money at taxpayers’ expense.

When it comes to Utah Lake, the State Legislature should:

Ensure that any "restoration" effort backed by taxpayer money will actually restore Utah Lake, not transform it.

Protect taxpayer money from enriching for-profit companies.

Follow scientific expertise and ecological best practices.

There’s also been talk of creating a “Utah Lake Authority” that would govern decisions about Utah Lake. Such an organization could be either good or bad, depending on the details of how it’s set up. The current proposal looks like a smokescreen to shield the Utah Legislature from unpopular decisions. I propose that any such authority should be elected by the people who live around Utah Lake, not appointed by politicians in Salt Lake City.

My wife and I took our maternity photos on the shore of Utah Lake. They would have looked very different with artificial islands full of houses in the background.

If you want more information about the science of Utah Lake, or you would like to get involved in preserving it, please click here. A vote for Daniel Craig Friend is a vote to conserve Utah Lake.

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