Last December, the Utah County Commission voted to place Bridal Veil Falls under a conservation easement. Since then, the state legislature has commissioned Utah State Parks to study what the future of the falls should look like. They collected resident feedback on the planning ideas through an online survey.
Options for the falls include designating it a state park, recreation area, state monument, or leaving it as is.
Groups like Conserve Utah Valley have tried to raise awareness of the investigation that will determine what happens to the falls.
Craig Christensen, executive director of Conserve Utah Valley, said there was a lot of feedback from Utah County residents when Bridal Veil Falls was underway. considered for development Last year. But much of that died out.
He said it’s important for people to know that the stunt’s future is still being discussed.
“It’s hard to get by because people think it’s all done,” Christensen said. “’Oh, he was put in a conservation easement.’ Well, no, that’s actually just the beginning. So we tried to let people know that no, it’s not over. They must still be active [about what happens to the falls].”
One of his group’s biggest concerns is that if it becomes a state park, the cost of visiting it won’t become prohibitive. He said it’s one of Utah County’s free “crown jewels.”
During his outreach efforts, he heard from many residents who wanted the falls to remain as they are now.
“They don’t want a door where they have to swipe a card to get in,” he said. “We’re losing a whole demographic of people who can’t afford to just go and visit the falls for an afternoon. [if that happens].”
Mary Karen Howard is a Provo resident who has lived in the area for over 50 years. She attended the open house for public comment on September 29 to learn more about the study and provide her thoughts.
Howard said Bridal Veil Falls was a special place for her and her family. She has taken her children to the canyon to see the waterfall over the years.
Although she would like to see improvements like more parking spaces or a few more bathrooms, she said it was important to leave it as is.
“Keep it clean, keep it natural,” Howard said. “It’s been longer than we’ve been alive. I just want the minimum that we have to put up there and let it be itself.
Once the study is complete, Utah State Parks plans to present its findings and return recommendations to the state legislature in November.
The public can submit comments through a survey until October 25.