Land Near North Ogden, Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Protected
A 200-acre property in the Wasatch Front, which includes one-half mile along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, has been added to the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced today.
The property, located in Weber County near North Ogden City, provides stunning views of the Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake, and protects a water source for North Ogden.
It is the first acquisition in a plan to acquire property along the BST in the North Ogden area. Currently, there is a gap between the BST and the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which TPL and the Forest Service are working to close to prevent development adjacent to the trail.
The Trust for Public Land sold the land to the Forest Service for $1.6 million, which used money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the federal government's main source of money for protecting land for the public. LWCF money comes from a portion of royalties paid to the government by oil companies on oil and gas production from federal offshore leases, and does not come from taxpayers.
"The Bonneville Shoreline Trail has long been a priority for us in our Utah conservation work, and we look forward to continue working with communities along the Wasatch Front to expand trail access and protect lands along the trail in the coming years," said Michael Patrick, TPL's Project Manager. "This latest acquisition is a great example of how communities can protect recreational amenities and natural resources for their residents in advance of growth." The project has the strong support of Weber County and North Ogden City.
The North Ogden program joins The Trust for Public Land, the Forest Service and Weber Pathways in an effort to protect the BST along the northern boundaries of North Ogden and Pleasant View, within the boundaries of the national forest.
In 2005, a five-mile stretch of the BST just north of North Ogden and Pleasant View was opened to the public by a trail easement along an existing utility corridor that was granted by Rocky Mountain Power to the nonprofit Weber Pathways.
"This acquisition is a huge milestone in the expansion and protection of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail," said Meg Krusemark, Executive Director of Weber Pathways. "One day, the trail will extend, uninterrupted, from the Utah/Idaho border all the way South to Nephi. The protection of this half mile stretch is one more step towards the completion of that project. We are very appreciative of the Richards Family, TPL, and the Forest Service for their dedication to land conservation."
Brian Ferebee, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Supervisor stated, "The Forest Service is very excited about this acquisition. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is where many communities and forest lands come together, to provide access to our users. As growth continues, it is imperative that we continue to look for opportunities to secure access to the public lands along the Wasatch Front, so users can both access and enjoy their public lands."
The Forest Service and TPL are planning to acquire and protect additional lands in this immediate area in the coming years.
The landowners that sold the property were led by David K. Richards of Salt Lake City, who had owned the property for over forty years and wanted to see this land protected. Mr. Richards passed away earlier this year, and his family wanted to honor his memory by ensuring that this project was completed. TPL worked with the family to protect the property and sell it to the Forest Service. "I am at peace knowing that my husband's wishes that this beautiful piece of property be maintained pristine for the generations to come have now been realized," said Sharon Richards. "I am thankful for all those who helped make this possible and a special thanks to our friends at The Trust for Public Land and the Forest Service."
The Trust for Public Land is a national land conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for people as parks, greenways, and wilderness areas. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.