Local leaders gather for second Utah Lake Summit | News, Sports, Jobs

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald

Local representatives answer questions during the second Utah Lake Summit held at Utah Valley University on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

The second Utah Lake Summit took place Tuesday at the University of the Utah Valley and discussed recent legislative and restorative changes to the Utah Valley centerpiece.

The public meeting was the second in a series that aims to bring together policy makers, community members, researchers and managers to better understand and protect Utah Lake.

The Utah Lake Summit was sponsored by Conserve Utah Valley and Utah Representative Keven Stratton. The two sides also hosted the inaugural Utah Lake Summit, held at UVU in January.

The first session focused on the changes made regarding the lake during the last legislative session. A panel of Utah Valley lawmakers — including state Reps. Marsha Judkins, Stephen Whyte, Nelson Abbott, Brady Brammer, Jefferson Burton and Adam Robertson — addressed this topic.

When asked how much funding had been allocated for the restoration of Utah Lake over the past year and what lawmakers had planned for that funding, Whyte replied that restoration efforts had received significantly more support. funding than in the past.

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald

Utah Lake is photographed from Utah Lake State Park on Monday, April 25, 2022.

“This year, if you looked at the [legislative] session really was the year of water, right. We never really put the focus that we have this year on the legislative level,” he said. “This year, we made a much bigger effort. Part of it was because we had federal funding…if you look at the total of what we put together, it was almost a billion dollars invested in water.

Several questions focused on the new Utah Lake Authority, which came into effect after Brammer-sponsored Bill 232 passed in the recent legislative session.

“The Utah Lake Authority is a state-level entity that has a local board,” Brammer said. “They took a state asset and added local control to it. In the past there were a lot of different groups involved with the lake, a lot of them are still involved, but what the Utah Lake Authority is is what’s called an overlay authority, that which means that state agencies still act in the same roles they used to act. previously, but the Utah Lake Authority allows additional local decision-making.

When asked what the Utah Lake Authority would change for cities, the public and general management, Brammer replied that the authority would give local cities more information than they previously had about the Utah Lake Commission.

“Cities that are around the lake…will have a lot more say than they had before on the lake commission,” Brammer said.

According to Stratton, voters often tell him that more restoration efforts are needed to improve Utah Lake. Although he recognizes that a change is needed, he wants to ensure that no hasty decisions are made regarding the lake.

“Our lake is a very complex problem,” Stratton said. “Without a doubt, we agree that Utah Lake is currently not its best version. … We have to pay attention to it, we have to make fixes and improvements.

The second session of the summit addressed the status of ongoing restoration and research efforts on the lake and included representatives from the Utah Department of Natural Resources, the Mitigation Commission, the Walkara Way Project and the District of special services of Timpanogos. A third Utah Lake summit will take place this summer.


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