If you are a resident, trail user, auto-commuter, birder or other concerned citizen, please join us for an evening of discussion and idea-generation focused on protecting our beloved Legacy Parkway. Whats Next Flier Pg1

Despite significant effort put forth by Rep. Ballard, Sen. Weiler, co-sponsors, supporting municipalities, and organizational allies, HB 339 and SB 119 failed to pass out of their respective legislative committees and we were unable to get an extension to the Legacy Parkway Truck Ban during this session. The following links will take you to committee meeting recordings should you like to review the discussion:

SB 119 2/7/19 - https://bit.ly/2u3IOPx

HB 339 2/22/19 - https://bit.ly/2F7cIc9
and 2/25/19 - https://bit.ly/2HgjoH4

Rep. Ballard suggested we gather for a follow-up to our January 16 Community Meeting to discuss what happened during the session, what was learned, and what options we still have going forward. Most importantly we will have small group discussion time to hear from YOU–our residents, commuters and trail users–about your real concerns about how Legacy Parkway will change on January 1, 2020 when the ban on heavy trucks expires. Let's fill the room again!

One thing that Save Legacy Parkway committee members learned is that there are many opportunities for us to be informed and involved, and if state or local government does not do due diligence to protect and prepare residents for change, we need to speak up. We need commitments from leaders with regard to what action they will take to mitigate the negative impacts on communities and sensitive environmental areas around Legacy Parkway before January 1, 2020.

Complete our Next Steps Survey: https://bit.ly/2O0Jzlz
Sign our Petition: https://bit.ly/2F8WPBV

Your voice matters, please make every effort to attend.

flyer de Freitas 1

Please join us on Friday, March 15th from 12:30-1:20 at Weber State University's Lindquist Hall LH Room 280 for the Great Salt Lake Science & Society Brown Bag Seminar Series, featuring Executive Director, Lynn de Freitas, who will speak on "The Great Salt Lake Geopolitical Landscape." 

Click here for more information about the series.

Bring a lunch and join us for weekly seminars from regional experts and a field trip to Great Salt Lake.

 

We partner with the Natural History Museum of Utah and University of Utah Youth Education to offer two exciting and adventurous summer camps based on the science and ecology of Great Salt Lake!

Soar The Salty Shore 3 

Great Salt Lake Discoveries for Girls Only (June 10 - 14, 2019)

Ladies, the Great Salt Lake is ours to discover! With staff from FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake and the Natural History Museum of Utah, you’ll investigate the cool and unique ecosystem at the Great Salt Lake, from brine shrimp and owl pellets to buoyancy and pH levels! We’ll visit places like Antelope Island and Farmington Bay, conduct salty experiments, chew pickle weed, and watch birds through binoculars. We are investigators, adventurous, and love being outside. Drop off and pick up take place at NHMU. Transportation to field trip locations is provided. 

This program is only for girls entering 4th and 5th grade in Fall 2019.

Camp runs June 10-14, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. Campers should bring their own non–refrigerated lunch from home along with a drink. We offer a supervised lunch hour that includes time to explore outside. Campers will receive a reusable water bottle and a camp shirt with their camp registration fee.

Camp Cost: $310 (NHMU members may be eligible for a discount)

Registration is now open! Sign up here: https://bit.ly/2XQ8ywI

 

Salty Science (June 24 - 28, 2019)

Stay salty this summer and in this field-based science camp! Whether it's investigating macroinvertebrates at Memory Grove Park or air boating on Farmington Bay, each day you'll go on a field trip to explore the ecosystems surrounding the Great Salt Lake. Along the way, engage in activities and conduct experiments to learn about watersheds, rock formations, salinity, native plants, insects, animals, and more. At the end of the week, you'll leave with an outdoor activity book and brine shrimp hatch kit to continue your field work at home! Co-sponsored with University of Utah Youth Education.

This camp is for both boys and girls ages 8-10 only.

Camp runs June 24-28, 2019 from 9am-3pm daily. Campers should bring their own lunch and water from home.

Camp Cost: $275

This camp is currently full. For more information, please contact Katie Newburn at pelican@fogsl.org.

Youth Education Camp

 

The Class V Provisions in the Solid and Hazardous Waste Act Should Not Be Deleted For the Following Reasons: 

 

The Legislature required higher standards for Class V for good reason.

       The law has been in place over three decades to prevent Utah from becoming the nation’s “dumping ground” for solid waste.

  • Utah already has nearly 2,000 years of Class V landfill capacity. There is no need to classify more Class V space based on Utah’s past experience that the approval of unnecessary landfills results in large unproductive areas and unfunded eyesores.
  • The citizens of Utah have repeatedly made clear they do not want Utah to serve as the dumping ground for east and west-coast states with higher property values and lower willingness to process their own waste.   
  • It is not uncommon for unrealistic entrepreneurs to see big dollar signs in moving waste to Utah. But over the past several decades, these ventures have all come to nothing. (Solitude Landfill in Green River was granted Class V permit but was never able to get any waste contracts. PPL site has been trying to start a landfill since 2004 with no success).

The Utah Legislature doesn’t enact laws to benefit a single company.

  • Removing requirements for a Needs Assessment and weighing the environmental costs and benefits would change a well-functioning Utah law just to benefit a single company that can’t comply –Promontory Point Landfill.

It’s prudent for the State and legislature to exercise oversight of inter-state commerce.

      The existing law allows the Legislature to exercise oversight of inter-state commerce for non-Utah commercial solid waste, because:

  • It involves a larger policy question of how Utah wants to position itself—does Utah want to be seen as the world’s dump site or the world’s outdoor recreation mecca/tech leader/great place to do business?
  • Inter-state commerce in waste involves supply-demand questions that should be weighed against the risks, especially with the Promontory Point Landfill on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.
    • What effect would a Class V landfill have on existing businesses near the Lake like brine shrimpers and mineral harvesting, whose jobs and businesses depend upon the Lake’s ecosystem?
    • Is there sufficient demand for more out-of-state Class V landfill capacity in Utah? We already have more than 2,000 years of capacity. Would building more benefit or harm the State? Are the risks worth it?
    • Would the proposed Class V landfill really create more jobs, or just move jobs from one rural county to another?
    • Solid waste isn’t solely a private-sector business industry.
    • There are many business industries that the Utah Legislature has found need more oversight, such as alcohol, utilities, and tobacco and medical marijuana.
    • Most landfills in Utah are owned by municipalities and counties, meaning government-owned landfills must 

Instead of creating new jobs it just moves them from one rural county to another.

        The Needs Assessment recognizes the investment-backed expectations of rural communities with established Class V landfills

  • Class V landfills are often located in smaller rural communities and can provide desirable, higher-paying jobs. Because the amount of waste that can be profitably imported to Utah is essentially fixed, the laws of supply and demand mean that a new but unneeded Class V landfill will either fail or will take from existing in-state landfills rather than generating new waste sources. This would be devastating for small rural communities and provides no net benefit for the State as a whole.
  • Small communities have out-sized reliance on existing Class V landfills, and profit reductions or closures could drive small cities into bankruptcy.

The current Promontory Point Landfill situation shows that the Legislature required higher standards for Class V for good reason. 

  • Proven market – Promontory Point Landfill has been unable to secure a waste contract for two years and its fully constructed waste cell sits empty. 
  • Public benefits – Promontory Point Landfill would directly compete for work and income with a landfill in Carbon County, a county with one of the highest poverty rates and lowest employment levels in the State. 
  • Net beneficial environmental impact – Receiving waste that could include coal ash and other states’ hazardous wastes on the shores of the Great Salt Lake should be a non-starter. 
  • Serving industry within the State – Promontory Point Landfill’s extremely expensive but empty waste cell proves Utah doesn’t need the landfill.

The Legislature shouldn’t compensate for the poor decision-making of a company.

  • Promontory Point Landfill is not competing on the free market – it has received a huge tax-free municipal loan.
  • Promontory Point Landfill has tried to skip, ignore, and change Utah’s regulatory process instead of complying. When this didn’t work, the Landfill threatened to sue the State. It is now trying to use the Legislature to make an end-run around Utah law.
  • Promontory Point Landfill assumed high-risks by making massive expenditures before it secured a valid permit.
  • No one is responsible to rescue Promontory Point Landfill from its own bad judgment and reckless expenditures. They knew the law and what the risks were when they decided to move ahead without the permits, demonstrations, and contracts that the current law requires.
  • The Promontory Point Landfill has exhibited risky financial decision-making. They projected $13 Million in revenue in 2018 but have yet to receive a single piece of waste.
  • In October 2017, Promontory Point Landfill received $16 Million in funds from a Box Elder County Municipal Bond, and have interest and principal payments of approximately $650,000 due every six months. 
  • Coincidentally, in November 2017, Promontory Point Landfill’s parent company, Allos Environmental, pledged $15 Million to the City of Atascadero in California for disaster cleanup, site closure and other contingencies. 
  • Facilitating a de facto Class V landfill for Promontory Point Landfill with a legislative work-around would reward their foolish decision to build the entire waste cell in such an ecologically vulnerable area with no waste contracts or final permits in place and compound the potential costs of failure or bankruptcy.

Changing the law would eliminate important environmental and health protections.

  • The Promontory Point Landfill site is located right on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, an environmentally significant and ecologically sensitive landmark that is a vital part of the State’s historical and economic life. This also puts the Landfill near the migratory paths and nests of millions of birds, which could feed on the waste, and then through defection, spread pollution into nearby fresh water sources, potentially leading to algal blooms.
  • Many of the environmental and engineering tests for the Landfill were conducted by TetraTech, a company with an economic interest in the success of the landfill.
  • The landfill is in an area that experiences high winds (often upwards of 70 mph), which could cause waste to escape and spread across the landscape. The landfill could also accept coal ash, which raises additional environmental concerns.
  • The landfill is located near recognized fault lines and, if an earthquake hits, landfill liners could fail and pollute the environment, which is especially concerning being so near to the Great Salt Lake.

The risk reward to Utah is NOT worth it.

  • The Legislature has an oversight duty to the citizens and current viable and profitable industries in Utah. Changing the law would only benefit one company in the short-term while having long-lasting and wide-spread negative effects on several other companies established in reliance on the current law. 
  • A clean Great Salt Lake is a billion-dollar boon for Utah. Established local businesses such as brine shrimpers, ranchers, and mineral extractors employ hundreds of Utahns and depend on the Lake for their income. They and several Utah government agencies do not support the Landfill or these proposed changes because the extra pollution, degradation to the ecosystem, and traffic from the Landfill will damage businesses and future earning capabilities.
  • The Landfill isn’t a local venture. The Landfill is owned by an east-coast company that has received a subsidized loan and said publicly it plans to ship in waste from as far away as the Appalachian Mountains.

 

Click below to download these points in an easy to read chart:  

Preserve_the_Class_V_Requirements_in_Utahs_Solid_and_Hazardous_Waste_Act.pdf

  

We're hiring for our 2019 Environmental Education Assistant (AmeriCorps)!

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake is seeking a part-time Environmental Education Assistant to complete 450 hours of work (an average of 20 hours/week) during a 6-7 month time period (April through October, 2019). The Environmental Education Assistant will play a key facilitation role within our 4th grade Lakeside Learning field trip program at Great Salt Lake and will support education and outreach projects as well as the organization's special events.

Lakeside Learning field trips take place Monday through Friday, between 8am and 2pm during the months of April, May, September, October at Antelope Island State Park and the Great Salt Lake Marina. The ideal candidate will be available during these hours with some flexibility.

Additional work will generally take place during business hours, Monday through Friday, although some evening and weekends may be required. Although this position will average 20 hours per week, the weekly time commitment will be variable, with some weeks requiring up to 40 hours. FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake’s central office is located in Salt Lake City.

The Environmental Education Assistant will:

  • Assist in the coordination of our Lakeside Learning field trip program, including:
  • Lead groups of 4th graders through a series of outdoor educational activities at Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake Marina
  • Coordinate field trip schedules with volunteers and teachers
  • Prepare and maintain field trip gear
  • Work with staff, volunteers, and program participants to evaluate Lakeside Learning and suggest ideas for improvement
  • Collaborate to develop new summer educational programming, such as seminars, field trips, and day-camp experiences for K-6 students. This may include research of feasibility and costs.
  • Co-lead Great Salt Lake Summer Camp (a week-long day camp for 4th and 5th graders)*Candidate must be available the weeks of June 10-14 and June 24-28, from 8:30am-5:00pm.
  • Participate in public outreach events and festivals
  • Assist with the coordination and staffing of the annual fall fundraising event (Event held on 10/10/19)
  • Assist with other FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake education/outreach efforts as needed, which may include:
  • Design and create outreach items and educational materials
  • Update existing curriculum
  • Plan/staff special events
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Adaptability
  • Bachelor’s degree (or working towards a degree) in Environmental Science, Biology, Education, Communications, or related subject
  • Experience working with children preferably in an outdoor and/or educational setting
  • Enjoy working outdoors in a variety of weather conditions
  • Effective at communicating with a variety of audiences
  • Experience designing curriculum and educational activities
  • Basic knowledge of ecology and geology and a willingness and ability to quickly learn new concepts
  • Able to walk short distances (1 mile) over uneven terrain and lift moderate loads (25 pounds)
  • Valid driver’s license, car insurance, and access to an automobile for personal transportation
  • Must have access to computer and internet
  • Social media platform experience
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledgeable of the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and local conservation, education, and management groups

Salary :

AmeriCorps members receive the following benefits for this 450-hour position: $3,317 living stipend paid in even disbursements throughout the term of service, about $450 per month. Approximately $1,556.14 Education Award (given upon completion of service – this award can be used for future schooling or federal student loans).

How to Apply: Email a resume and cover letter to Katie Newburn at pelican@fogsl.org no later than March 12, 2019.

Please note: Any offer of employment will be conditional, pending the candidate’s successful enrollment in Americorps/Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) and successful completion of a criminal background check. For more information about the UCC, visit www.usu.edu/ucc/

By Lee Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune

 

In November, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 carrying 223 passengers lifted off from Salt Lake City International Airport heading for Paris. But officials say six big tundra swans flew into it over the runway, crashing into its nose and engine covers.

No birds survived, and the airport’s chief says it was “a very, very close call” for the jumbo jet.

The birds “didn’t go straight into the engine, which is fortunate. Because at that elevation and that location, the potential for recovery is not great,” Bill Wyatt, executive director of the airport, told the Airport Advisory Board recently. The plane safely landed a few minutes later, and was grounded for inspection and repair.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported nearly 14,500 bird strikes nationally in 2017. Those numbers led the agency to propose drastically increasing the area where all major airports must work to keep wildlife away from planes, expanding it from two miles to five beyond airport boundaries.

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune A Burrowing Owl rests on the fence surrounding the Salt Lake International Airport. The airport had 280 bird strikes in 2018. Most were minor, but overall they caused at least $674,892 in reported damage. There were 171 bird strikes with small song birds; 39 with waterfowl, 36 with raptors, 13 with bats and four with pigeons or doves. Another 17 strikes were with unknown types of birds.

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune A Burrowing Owl rests on the fence surrounding the Salt Lake International Airport. The airport had 280 bird strikes in 2018. Most were minor, but overall they caused at least $674,892 in reported damage. There were 171 bird strikes with small song birds; 39 with waterfowl, 36 with raptors, 13 with bats and four with pigeons or doves. Another 17 strikes were with unknown types of birds.

 

The FAA may yank federal funding from airports and their sponsors — such as Salt Lake City — that do not do everything in their power to limit new developments that could attract birds and other wildlife, including denying building permits.

That proposed five-mile boundary includes much of Salt Lake City (to 1300 East on the east, plus all of its northwest quadrant out to the Kennecott tailings ponds).

Click here to continue reading.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 08:21

Inland Port Public Engagement Meetings

Envision Utah has been contracted to carry out "public engagement" for the Utah Inland Port.  The initial public open houses listed below are the first two scheduled.  

Tuesday, February 19th | 6-8 p.m.
State Fairgrounds – Zions Building
155 N 1000 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84116


Thursday, February 28th | 6-8 p.m.
Franklin Elementary School
1115 W 300 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84104

Please note that Envision Utah is being paid $100,000 for this work labelled "public engagement", but which is likely to be a PR initiative designed to sell the public on the Port. 

There is also a survey that one can take. Go to https://www.utahinlandport.org/public-meetings.
Be aware that this survey is part of Envision Utah's efforts to sway the public.  As Terry Marasco of Moms for Clean Air says:
1. It presents it as a done deal. You may want to comment that that is a questionable assumption
2. It mentions nothing of the rushed and non-transparent way it (the Inland Port) was rushed thru the 2018 legislature (last 45 minutes for the legislature to read the bill!), and what do you think about that..
3. It mentions nothing about the fact that the state took away a huge chunk of salt lake city/county and put it in state hands
4. It says nothing about the fact that perhaps $500M of school tax revenues will be removed from the SL school district

Hope to see you there. 

A scientific paper, ""Using remote cameras to validate estimates of nest fate in shorebirds," by FRIEND, John Cavit, along with his student Kristen Ellis, and two other colleagues is one of three finalists for the best paper published in Ibis during 2018. 

Click here to read the paper.

Click here to vote.

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake is seeking to hire an Environmental Education Coordinator. 

Title: Environmental Education Coordinator

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Status: Part-time, Year round

Compensation: $10-$12 hourly

FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake (FRIENDS) was founded in 1994. The mission of FRIENDS is to preserve and protect Great Salt Lake ecosystems and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Lake through education, research, advocacy, and the arts. The long-term vision of FRIENDS is to achieve comprehensive watershed-based restoration and protection for the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem.

The Environmental Education Coordinator’s primary responsibility will be facilitating the 4th grade Lakeside Learning field trip program at Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake Marina State Park. This position will also participate in community outreach events, administrative duties, and other tasks as assigned by the Education and Outreach Director. 

The Environmental Education Coordinator works with a diverse population of students, in groups of 25-50, in remote outdoor settings; it is essential that the Environmental Education Coordinator be comfortable working in various conditions (biting insects, salt, sand, rain, sun) outdoors and be adaptable in the case of inclement weather.

Lakeside Learning field trips take place Monday through Friday, between 8am and 2pm during the months of April, May, June, September, and October at Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake Marina State Park. Additional work will generally take place during business hours, Monday through Friday, although some evening and weekends may be required. Although this position will average 20-25 hours per week, the weekly time commitment will be variable.

The Environmental Education Coordinator will:

  • Assist in the coordination of our Lakeside Learning field trip program, including:
    • Lead groups of 4th graders through a series of outdoor educational activities at Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake Marina State Park.
    • Coordinate field trip schedules with volunteers and teachers
    • Prepare and maintain field trip gear
    • Work with staff, volunteers, and program participants to evaluate Lakeside Learning
  • Co-lead Great Salt Lake Summer Camp (a week-long day camp for 4th and 5th graders)
  • Coordinate participation in public outreach events and festivals
  • Assist with preparations for and during FRIENDS’ annual fall fundraising event
  • Assist with other FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake education/outreach efforts as needed, which may include:
    • Design and create outreach items and educational materials
    • Update existing curriculum
    • Plan/staff special events
    • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Environmental Studies, or related discipline preferred (2+ years of job experience will be considered in place of education)
  • Capable of acting as a group facilitator
  • Comfortable working with youth in an outdoor setting
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude and a calm demeanor in stressful situations
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Self-motivated and independent
  • Quick learner and willingness to learn environmental concepts, specifically those focused on Great Salt Lake
  • Ability to do moderate lifting and walk up to a mile over uneven terrain
  • Computer proficiency and access to a computer and internet
  • Experience on social media platforms
  • Valid Drivers’ License and own transportation (mileage reimbursement available when using personal vehicle)
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check, upon hiring

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience teaching environmental education
  • Prior experience working with youth in an outdoor setting
  • Familiarity with inquiry-based facilitation, place-based education
  • Knowledgeable of the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem and local conservation, education, and management groups
  • Safety training and certifications

How to Apply:
Email a resume, cover letter, and 3 references to Holly Simonsen at snowyegret@fogsl.org no later than Friday March 1, 2019.

Wednesday, 06 February 2019 16:16

SB 119 Legacy Parkway Truck Ban Extension

Join FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake and Save Legacy Parkway on Thursday, February 7 from 4:00-5:00 PM at Utah State Capitol East Senate Building Room 215 as we rally support to extend the Legacy Parkway Truck Ban. Community organizers suggest we wear yellow to visibly show our support of the bill. Click here for more informaton. 

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Why We Care

  • Great Salt Lake is a unique place in the Western Hemisphere because large concentrations of birds visit there… The disappearance of Great Salt Lake wetlands could mean the disappearance of whole species of birds.

    Gonzalo Castro, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network