Campaign to Save Corner Canyon a Success (UT)

November 4, 2005
Utah

DRAPER CITY, UT, 11/4/2005 -- The Trust for Public Land-Utah (TPL), the City of Draper, and Salt Lake County announced today the permanent protection of 1,021 acres at Corner Canyon. The Corner Canyon project is the largest ever conservation purchase by Draper City, and the $7 million dollar bond passed to fund it is the largest bond measure passed in Salt Lake County for a single open space acquisition.

"Corner Canyon is truly a public treasure, and has become an investment for each of us in the future of Draper," says Draper City Mayor Darrell Smith. "I am convinced that "Our Corner Canyon" will stand as a monument to our community, to our past and those who settled here and to our quality of life."

The canyon's fate became uncertain in 2003, when the landowners presented a development plan that included over 1,200 housing units. With open space along the Wasatch Range rapidly disappearing and the threat of development imminent at Corner Canyon, the City of Draper approached the Trust for Public Land to help them protect the "backdrop property" of their community. TPL facilitated the creation and passing of a $7 million conservation measure to raise funds for the property's purchase. The citizens of Draper approved the bond measure in November 2004. One year later, on November 5, 2005, the citizens of Draper, along with all of the private and public partners who collaborated to preserve Corner Canyon, will celebrate its purchase and permanent public protection. The celebration will take place at 2:00 pm, at the Corner Canyon Stake Center, 1911 East Gray Fox Drive.

"The protection of Corner Canyon is a real win for the people of Draper, and is heartening for those of us who work in land conservation," said Shauna Kerr, Director of TPL Utah. "More and more, communities are taking the initiative to protect their special places, and are making open space a priority and a local issue. We are very grateful to our partners, Draper City, Salt Lake County, and the Quality Growth Commision for working to make this community's vision a reality. And finally, we could not have completed this purchase without the incredible commitment of Draper City's residents and the ongoing support of our generous donors."

After the November 2004 election, the City did not think they would be able to afford the entire property. However, after seven months of negotiations, the landowners agreed to sell the 1021 acres for approximately $13.6 million, with the agreement that a conservation easement would be placed on the property once the City acquired it. TPL and the city co-applied to both the Quality Growth Commission and Salt Lake County for $500,000 to assist in the acquisition of the property. With the assistance of this additional $1,000,000, the city was able to come up with the additional funds to acquire the property.

"Again, Salt Lake County is proud to be a partner in preserving open space in our valley," says Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. "Corner Canyon can be added to Grandeur Peak and Perkins Flat as major success stories."

Corner Canyon is nestled in the foothills below the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, in the "corner" between the Wasatch Range and Traverse Ridge. It offer a variety of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians, and provides public access to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) borders Utah's urbanized center and provides tremendous recreational opportunities for the foothill communities below the Wasatch Mountains. Since 1998, TPL has been working in partnership with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Committee, the Bonneville Resource Conservation and Development Council, the U.S. Forest Service, Salt Lake County and many cities and counties adjacent to the BST corridor in an effort to purchase critical "gap" properties along the BST and preserve public access.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to preserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL works with local, state, and federal agencies and grassroots community groups to protect open space nationwide. Since it's founding in 1972, TPL has protected nearly 2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Utah since 1985, TPL has protected more than 40,000 acres throughout the state. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For information, please visit us on the web at www.tpl.org.