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Davis Journal

State and federal lawmakers tour shrinking Great Salt Lake

Sep 01, 2022 02:34PM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—The Great Salt Lake is at a historic low level and as it continues to shrink state and federal leaders are creating legislation to study drought conditions and preserve and protect the lake. Sen. Mitt Romney and Speaker Brad Wilson got a firsthand look at the receding lake last week as they toured it by airboat.

The lawmakers made stops at the Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, agricultural site Bear River inflows and Farmington Bay. 

“The Great Salt Lake is more than just a lake – it is an irreplaceable asset that directly impacts our state’s environment, economy and quality of life,” Wilson said in a statement. “Preserving the lake requires a collaborative effort and I appreciate Sen. Romney’s efforts to bring attention, funding and policy change at the federal level. Preserving the Great Salt Lake will continue to be my top priority and I am optimistic for the lake’s future.”

Wilson sponsored HB410 Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement during the 2022 Legislative Session that created a water trust to identify sustainability projects and conservation that would increase water quantity and water quality in the Great Salt Lake. In addition, the legislature appropriated more than $300 million for the protection and preservation of the lake and passed other water conservation bills.

Romney’s Great Salt Lake Recovery Act legislation to study historic drought conditions  passed the U.S. Senate on July 28. His Saline Lake Ecosystems in the Great Basin States Program Act legislation, introduced in 2021, would establish an ongoing monitoring system to inform coordinated management and conservation actions for Great Basin saline lake ecosystems that are threatened, a release said.

“With the Great Salt Lake currently at the lowest levels ever recorded, we must do whatever is necessary to save it,” said Romney. “Today’s visit was informative in our ongoing efforts to restore this critical body of water. I appreciate Speaker Wilson’s leadership in working toward a permanent solution to save our state’s iconic body of water and I am proud to support Utah’s efforts on the federal level. I hope that the House will soon pass my legislation – The Great Salt Lake Recovery Act – to study historic drought conditions and protect the long-term health of this lake.” λ