February 17, 2020
Dear Senators and Representatives
We, the undersigned organizations, support the Request for Appropriation of $110,000 in ongoing funds from the Sovereign Lands Account for a Great Salt Lake Coordinator within the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (the Division).
The Great Salt Lake is an iconic symbol of our state, an economic driver, and a unique and complex ecosystem of regional, national and hemispheric importance. In 2014, the State Legislature recognized the “economic, recreational and natural significance of the Great Salt Lake (H.C.R. 20 – Joint Resolution Recognizing the Importance of Great Salt Lake). The pressures on the Lake are continually intensifying with long-term downward trend in lake levels, changes in climate and the State’s increasing population. Today, the historically low water levels are presenting a challenge to wildlife, salinity, brine shrimp, air quality, economic, and ecological conditions.
The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands has the authority and jurisdictional responsibility to manage the bed of Great Salt Lake and its mineral resources in perpetuity as a public trust resource for the people of Utah. The ever-changing demands and increasing threats to Great Salt Lake only heighten the importance of ensuring the Division has adequate staff capacity to responsibly manage the Lake. A $110,000 ongoing request for a GSL Coordinator will enhance the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to make adept and long-term management decisions regarding the health of the Lake, as well as seek partners and other resources to better manage the Lake for the public trust. The development and oversight of the GSL Coordinator position will be managed cooperatively with the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council.
Thank you for your consideration.
Bridgerland Audubon Society
Central Davis Sewer District
FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake
Gillmor Sanctuary, National Audubon Society
Great Salt Lake Audubon
Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College
League of Women Voters of Utah
Saline Lakes Program, National Audubon Society
Utah Airboat Association
Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club
Utah State University researcher
Utah Waterfowl Association
Wasatch Front Water Quality Council
Wasatch Wigeons Association