1,240 Acres Protected in Wasatch Mountains (UT)

Salt Lake City, UT, 1/11/2007 — The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the USDA Forest Service announced today the protection of 1,240 acres of important wildlife habitat in the Wasatch Mountain Range, east of Draper City. This property will be added to the Wasatch Cache and Uinta National Forests, helping to connect existing public lands in the foothills, including the Lone Peak Wilderness and the 1,000-acre Corner Canyon property TPL worked to protect in 2005.

This is the first of two planned acquisitions by TPL and the Forest Service, which together will add over 2,500 acres to the National Forest, protect over a mile of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and improve public access to existing open space.

“TPL is committed to creating recreational opportunities where people live,” says Shauna Kerr, Director of TPL-Utah. “As the population in Salt Lake County grows, we must act to protect the natural beauty and quality of life that attract people to this special place. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail has been a priority project for us, and we look forward to expanding its protection this year.”

“We’re very pleased with the added acres. This natural space in the foothills provides critical habitat and winter range for mule deer and elk as well as enhances the watershed,” said Loren Kroenke, Ranger of the Salt Lake District where much of the land is located. “The land purchase also nicely complements Draper City’s open space and trails initiatives, adding to the overall range of recreation opportunities.”

Utah’s Congressional delegation was instrumental in securing the funding necessary to enable the U.S. Forest Service to acquire this land through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Without the delegation’s support and the leadership of Senator Robert Bennett, a member of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees funding for LWCF, this transaction would not have been possible.

“This land acquisition will help Draper and the Forest Service accomplish their goals to preserve open space, protect wildlife, and provide recreational opportunities. I commend all the partners in this effort for their foresight and am pleased to have been able to help provide the funding to make it happen,” said Senator Bob Bennett.

Since 1995, TPL has worked with the US Forest Service and local governments to acquire and protect properties along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. From Wellsville in the north to Santaquin in the south, the trail touches more than 40 Utah communities. To date, TPL has conveyed nearly 800 acres of trail corridor into public ownership.

The Trust for Public Land is a national non-profit land conservation organization with a mission to conserve land for people. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected two million acres nationwide. Since 1985, TPL has conserved 47,000 acres of agricultural land, sites of cultural significance, trails, and community parks throughout Utah. Find TPL on-line at www.tpl.org.