Public lands VICTORIES! Now let’s give thanks

Let’s celebrate not one, but FOUR major victories on public lands!

On Monday we reported to you that Governor Herbert decided against selling off two parcels of land on the borders of Zion National Park for drilling projects. Thanks to those of you who wrote one of the 40,000 comments to the BLM, your voices were heard!

The same day, Park City Mayor Jack Thomas indicated the city would move forward with the purchase of Bonanza Flats for conservation as public land, adding another chunk of money to the $25 million bond already committed by Park City voters via a ballot measure. But Park City still needed another $1.5 million contribution that was under consideration by the Salt Lake County Council to complete the deal.

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Council came through with a vote to contribute the necessary $1.5 million to ensure that Salt Lake County residents can continue to access the cherished open land for recreation, along with Wasatch and Summit County residents. At the forefront of Salt Lake County’s decision was Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams, who encouraged the Council to support the land conservation project and found the money in the county budget for that purpose, and also Republican Councilman, Max Burdick, without whom the vote for funding would almost certainly have failed. All this was just two days before the final sale deadline of June 15th.

But wait — we’re not done! Just yesterday the Summit County Council unanimously passed a Public Lands Resolution stating the county’s support for public land conservation and protection. The language of the resolution is not yet publicly available, but sources tell us it is strong and includes clauses specifically addressing Bears Ears, Grand Staircase and even sovereign Tribes. This is a landmark resolution that other counties can look to in advancing the conversation around public lands away from traditional dependence on fossil fuel leasing and sales and toward the more profitable, healthier and environmentally sound practices of utilizing land for tourism and outdoor recreation, among other business opportunities.


After a victory, it’s always a good idea to give thanks. Take a moment to send a thank you note to those who heard our voices and made decisions to positively impact public lands.

  • Thank Governor Herbert for recognizing the economic value of conserving land and its natural and environmental beauty for tourism around Zion National Park. May he make many more decisions in the future that take the enormous economic benefits of tourism and outdoor recreation into account when it comes to public lands.

Gov. Gary Herbert: (801) 538-1000 or leave an online comment here

  • Thank Park City Mayor Jack Thomas for his ongoing commitment to the conservation of Bonanza Flats and for recognizing the value to the community of this cherished piece of land for its recreational uses and scenic beauty.

Mayor Jack Thomas: (435) 615-5010 or email

  • Thank Salt Lake County Council and Mayor Ben McAdams for reversing their original decision on Bonanza Flats and supporting the conservation of this unique property at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon for perpetual protection and access for Salt Lake County residents and others.

Mayor Ben McAdams: (385) 468-7025, email or Twitter ‎@MayorBenMcAdams
Salt Lake County Council: (385) 468-7500 or contact individual members by finding their contact information here
Max Burdick (District 6): (385) 468-7459 or email

  • Thank Summit County Council and especially Kim Carson for stepping up and leading the state with their Public Lands Resolution in recognition of the majority of Utahns who want to see public lands protected, the significant economic rewards from conserving public lands over selling and leasing for destructive fossil fuel and mining purposes and the sovereignty of the Tribes who have been historically pushed out of public lands decisions and have significant rights to weigh in on the protection of their ancestral and spiritual homelands.

Summit County Council

  • Join the Celebration of the Bonanza Flat purchase on Friday! Utah Open Lands is hosting a press conference and community celebration on Friday afternoon in downtown Park City. Join Park City Mayor Jack Thomas, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and others. See the invitation and details below!

We’re sure you’ve heard about Bonanza

Come celebrate with us!

Please join us on Friday, June 16th, for the Press Conference & Community Celebration of the Bonanza Flat purchase. The celebration will run from 3:00-4:00pm and will be located at Bob Wells Plaza, at the base of the City Hall steps, on Swede Alley & 5th Street, Park City.
Speakers will include Mayor of Park City, Jack Thomas, Mayor of Salt Lake City Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake County, Ben McAdams, and our very own Executive Director, Wendy Fisher.

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