Can the military protect Great Salt Lake?

A new federal agency has stated Great Salt Lake as a priority, and it may be unexpected to some, but after a closer look, it makes sense why. The lake, refuge to over 10 million migratory birds, recreation haven for kayakers and hikers, vital local ecosystem regulator and source of millions of dollars for the state, also houses four U.S. military installations. 

“If we lose the Great Salt Lake, then the military can’t function,” Tyler B. Smith, the installation resiliency program manager with the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs told the Salt Lake Tribune. The lake could be eligible for federal funding for conservation efforts through the military’s Sentinel Landscapes Partnership program.

Smith also mentioned the Utah Inland Port, which has proposed industrial development on tens of thousands of acres of Great Salt Lake wetlands. UPHE welcomes any efforts to protect Great Salt Lake and its greater ecosystem. Permanently buying back water leases and ensuring that water makes it to Great Salt Lake is probably the most effective thing we can do, as long as it’s done right. The inland port by its very nature threatens to destroy the wetlands surrounding Great Salt Lake and increase industrial water consumption. There are better ways to stimulate our economy than plopping massive warehouses on top of critical wetlands, and ushering in tens of thousands more diesel trucks onto Wasatch Front freeways. 

Inland Port development is disruptive to Great Salt Lake wetlands.

Read more about issues facing Great Salt Lake.

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