A committee of lawmakers, concerned with protecting Provo Canyon’s jewel, Bridal Veil Falls, unanimously approved a resolution that would designate it a state monument and grant it the protections that come with that status.
UNHCR13, sponsored by Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, was moved to the House consent schedule in a 9-0 vote Wednesday by the House’s Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. Bedroom. Placement on the consent calendar expedites a measure’s passage and signals it for universal support.
Utah County purchased approximately 40 acres of the Bridal Veil property in 2015.
“The purpose of buying it was to preserve it,” Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee told committee members.
But the community learned of a development proposal that called for a tram and a drug and alcohol treatment lodge at the top of the falls. This proposal galvanized fierce opposition, a campaign to save the falls, and a series of intense public meetings.
After a marathon meeting in December 2020, the Utah County Commission voted unanimously to allow a conservation easement to be placed on the property by Utah Open Lands, which will prevent it from developing. .
Utah Open Lands is one of the state’s premier land conservation organizations, regularly working with private landowners and government entities to protect natural resources.
Last session, the Legislature set aside $1.2 million for a feasibility study on a potential Bridal Veil Falls monument that was conducted by the Utah Division of Parks.
Under Stratton’s measure, the falls would be part of the Parks Division’s landmarks and parks suite, but in a new model, they would be managed by Utah County.
The county has set aside $1.5 million for trails and improvements and will match, dollar for dollar, any money the state spends on the monument in the future.
The state pays for its maintenance needs in the parks through visitor fees, but the public was convinced that access to the Bridal Veil Falls remained free.
Craig Christensen of Conserve Utah Valley said the organization supports the designation.
“The organization has been very concerned about this particular site. This is one of those sites that is loved to death. The desire is to keep that free and keep it natural,” he said.
Stratton added that thousands of people visit Bridal Veil Falls each year, and monument status would help protect this “gem” in Utah.
He added that there had been some confusion about his resolution and he pointed out within the committee that the resolution does not create any avenue for business development, an avenue for concessions or an avenue for collecting fees. ‘admission.