Washington, DC—Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released the following statements about their legislation to enable the construction of high priority sections of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST) to enhance recreation opportunities near Utah’s most urban areas. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act, also supported by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT), and Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) will adjust management boundaries to allow the advancement of the BST while also designating nearby U.S. Forest Service land for permanent protection. The BST is planned to eventually connect the Idaho border to Nephi, Utah—stretching over 280 miles. The legal map for the legislation can be found here.

“This legislation balances creating new recreational opportunities with protecting the environment,” said Curtis. “With a rapidly increasing population, Salt Lake and Utah Counties are in need of more widely accessible opportunities to hike, bike, and get outdoors. This legislation will do this is a responsible manner and help pave the way for all Utahns to enjoy this world class trail.”

“The Bonneville Shoreline Trail provides great outdoor recreational opportunities for Utahns, but several wilderness-designated areas along the trail are hampering full use of the trail,” said Romney. “We are reintroducing our legislation to adjust the boundaries of the trail to ensure that construction can be fully completed and Utahns can enjoy its wide range of recreational opportunities for many years to come.”

Statements of Support (All letters of support available here)

Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox: “I love your effort to complete the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. As you surely know, the trail is a decades long project with both recreational and historical significance. It has the potential to be both a beautiful recreational asset for Utah residents and a tool for teaching us about ancient Lake Bonneville and Utah’s fascinating geologic history.  For the past 30 years, numerous Utah political jurisdictions, businesses, recreational users, and private landowners have played a role in securing portions of the trial. Much remains to be done, but your bill, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act, is a next step in that process.” Full PDF letter available here.

David Wiens, Executive Director, International Mountain Bicycling Association: “The International Mountain Bicycling Association is excited to support the Bonneville Shore Trail Advancement Act reintroduced by Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT). The Senator and Congressman and their offices continue to be staunch supporters of public lands protection through outdoor recreation. This legislation will establish better trail connectivity to create more trails close to home, making mountain biking and trail-based recreation more accessible for communities along Utah’s Wasatch Front. We look forward to working with the Congressman and our partners in Utah on this important legislation.”

Louis Geltman, Policy Director, Outdoor Alliance: “On behalf of the human powered outdoor recreation community, we write to express our support and gratitude for your efforts to introduce the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act (BSTAA). The BSTAA will help facilitate completion of the multiple-use 280-mile Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST). The proposed boundary adjustments will remove 326.27 acres from Wilderness management across 19 carefully drawn areas, and these adjustments will be offset by the addition of an equal area of new Wilderness protection in Mill Creek Canyon. These adjustments will ensure bicycle access on the BST and allow for work on the trail to proceed using tools impermissible under Wilderness management. In addition to the direct benefits of the trail itself, the BST is a central component for trail planning efforts for jurisdictions across the Wasatch Front.”  Full PDF letter available here.

Bill Lee, Senior Vice President for Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations, The Trust for Public Land: “In 2017, Utah’s outdoor recreation economy generated more than $12.3 billion in consumer spending and directly supported more than 100,000 jobs in Utah. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act will help to complete the vision of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail; giving mountain bikers, runners, hikers, equestrians, cross-country skiers— and families— new opportunities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. We look forward to working with you to advance the legislation through Congress and to achieve the promise of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.” Full PDF letter available here.

Sarah Bennett, Executive Director, Trails Utah: “Trails Utah is delighted to join forces with Congressman Curtis, IMBA and local organizations in the effort to secure a shared-use future for Northern Utah’s iconic Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act is needed to maximize recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts—including mountain bikers—along the populous Wasatch Front. The demand for secure access to trails and open space and the need for careful, consistent management is greatest at the wild/urban interface where the BST resides. We are enormously grateful to Congressman John Curtis for his support for this bill and the active lifestyles that Utahns enjoy. We look forward to being a part of the effort to build a sustainable and enjoyable Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the years to come.”

John Knoblock, Chairperson, Bonneville Shoreline Trail Committee: “The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Committee was formed thirty years ago to promote development of a 280 mile long shared use trail along the urban wildland interface of  the northern Wasatch Front in Utah. However, there are many obstacles in completing the entire envisioned trail which is still only about halfway complete.  The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act is important to overcome one of those obstacles by adjusting wilderness boundaries so that mountain bikes can use the entire trail as originally envisioned.  The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is enjoyed by thousands of trail users every year and the mountain bike community is a  large and important user group.”

Dallen Atack, League Director, Utah High School Cycling League: “The Utah High School Cycling League has nearly 2,000 registered student-athletes and coaches living within ten minutes of the trailheads connecting to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. As a league, our vision is to enable Utah teens to strengthen body, mind and character through the life-long sport of cycling. We have witnessed first hand how mountain biking has strengthened families and communities. The culture of our league and mountain biking in general is one of inclusivity and respect. We fully endorse the efforts of IMBA and other local associations striving to implement the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act.”

Kevin Dwyer, Executive Director, Salt Lake Valley Trails Society: “The Salt Lake Valley Trail Society enthusiastically supports the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act as an opportunity to provide accessible outdoor recreation for a wide variety of trail users. Hikers, cyclists, families, and adaptive athletes will be sure to be recreating in a more sustainable fashion as the sections of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail facilitated by the Act are built out and authorized for local recreation. Please join us in supporting this bill and the recreation and community-building opportunities that local trails create.”

Background

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail is a popular trail in Utah that will ultimately stretch 280 miles. However, small segments of wilderness designations have prohibited biking on parts of the trail, preventing the full vision multi-use trail connecting dozens of Utah’s communities.

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act:

  • Releases 326 acres of wilderness, divided over more than 20 small locations, to accommodate the advancement of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Salt Lake County and Utah County, two population centers in high demand for additional recreation opportunities.
  • Resolves a wilderness boundary issue in Birch Canyon to ensure the trail that runs parallel to the road can be fully utilized as a multiuse trail.
  • Designates 326 acres of wilderness to preserve land formerly owned by the Boy Scouts of America in Mill Creek Canyon that fully offsets any wilderness release to accommodate the BST.

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