Place Attachment Among Neighbors of Great Salt Lake and Its Environs by Carla Koons Trentelman

Report on Research Funded by the Doyle Stephens Memorial Scholarship for 2005

Carla Koons Trentelman, Doctoral Student in Sociology, Utah State University

For my research, funded by the Doyle Stephens Memorial Scholarship, I conducted two focus groups to explore how residents who live close to Great Salt Lake (GSL) in Weber and Davis counties feel about the lake, specifically how connected or attached they feel to GSL. The discussion included how focus group members feel about living close to the lake, why they chose to live there (including whether the lake played a role in the decision), and what they see as the positive and negative aspects of living close to GSL. The focus groups were part of a qualitative study of these issues, which also included interviews with a number of other residents living within one mile of the lake and its environs, county commissioners in Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties, and a number of resource managers and rangers from the refuges, preserves and state parks that are part of the lake system. This report includes findings from this broader qualitative study. The findings here cannot be taken as representing those who live closest to the lake in general, but do provide a glimpse of how some of these lake neighbors feel about Great Salt Lake.

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Why We Care

  • We live along the Great Salt Lake, one of the most extraordinary natural features in North America. I do not believe we, as a community, have honored its rarity. Our lack of intimacy toward this inland sea is not out of neglect, but of ignorance. We do not know the nature of this vast body of water that sparkles and sings. If we did, the shores of the Great Salt Lake would look different.

    Terry Tempest Williams, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake Advisory Board