Priority Issues

Protect Parley’s Canyon

Parley’s Canyon is under threat from a proposed mine. UPHE, along with other groups has filed a lawsuit to attempt to protect the canyon. Take action in one of the following ways:

Join the growing number of voices in opposition to the mine.

Contribute to the coalition’s legal fund for the protection of the canyon

Utah government officials are elected to represent the people. Let them know where you stand on this issue.

Let the mine proponents know that the community is against destruction of the canyon.

The Department of Environmental Quality released an Intent to Approve the proposal for Parley’s. ↓ (May, 2023)

UPHE’s Comments to the DAQ.

Video from Save Parleys

Photo taken near Granduer Peak of existing mining operation. The new proposed mine would be 12x this size.

UPHE’s concerns over the mine include:

Threats to critical watershed 

Granite has violated at least 46 environmental rules or regulations at federal, state and local levels relating to air pollution, failing to control fugitive dust, hazardous waste, operating without a permit, violating air quality standards, violating the Clean Water Act and water pollution. Granite’s history of violating environmental regulations is especially ominous in light of the dire state of Utah’s water shortage.

Persistent, toxic, fugitive dust 

Fugitive dust that blows off gravel pits is as much of a health hazard as other types of air pollution. Dust alone is toxic, but if it has chemicals or heavy metals attached to the dust particles, which is often the case, then it’s even more toxic. State regulations don’t require compliance with fugitive  dust protocols from gravel pit operators when wind speed exceeds 25 miles per hour. Wind reports for lower Parleys Canyon show that wind speeds in the area exceed 25 miles per hour 40 percent of the time.

Defacing an iconic part of the Wasatch Mountains

10 years ago, it was reported that nearly 50,000 vehicles travel through Parleys Canyon every day. Visitors come from all over to travel the route from Salt Lake City to Park City. A looming giant mine along the picturesque route from Salt Lake to Park City is a stark contradiction to the conservation values we hold dear. Instead of showcasing the pristine beauty of our landscapes, such an industrial intrusion sends a disheartening message to visitors about our priorities. If our political leaders want to showcase our capitol city for the Olympics, tearing up Parley’s Canyon is the worst way to do that. We aspire to be stewards of nature, preserving its majesty for future generations, rather than allowing it to be marred by the relentless pursuit of profit at the expense of our environment.

Recent News and Updates on the Proposed Mine:

2021 News:

A recently formed LLC, Tree Farm, filed a notice of intent, to “commence small mining operations” in Utah’s popular and frequently recreated Parley’s Canyon. Their proposal shows intent of a much larger extraction operation than those eligible for small mining permits.

Limestone Mine’s damage in Parley’s Canyon would be irreversible

No more mines in Parley’s Canyon

Our letter to Gov. officials

Salt Lake County held an emergency meeting and voted to submit a change to the county’s Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone, or FCOZ, to the planning commission. This could potentially block the proposed mine and any attempt to dig new mines in the Wasatch canyons and foothills.

2022 News:

Proposed Mine in Parley’s Canyon renamed I-80 South Quarry

Resident objection may help curb Parley’s Canyon mine

UPHE comments on ordinance to block mine

Salt Lake County passes ordinance that blocks the proposed mine for Parley’s Canyon

Salt Lake County’s move to block Parley’s mine now faces legal threats Company should listen to the public on proposed Parley’s mine

“What are we doing here?” Op-ed on Parley’s

Parley’s mine in July?

Parley’s Canyon mine & DOGM’s responsibility

2023 News:

UDOT paving the way for Parley’s mine that hasn’t been approved

Central Wasatch Commission stands against mine in Parley’s

2024 News:

Don’t allow a rock quarry up Parley’s Canyon, Deseret News in-house editorial.

The public blocked two bills that would have prevented Salt Lake County from stopping the Parley’s proposal. HB 502 and SB 172 would have both made it much more difficult to stop mines all across the state.

Using the non-profit As Your Sow, a group of shareholders is highlighting the contradiction between Granite Construction’s proposal and the company’s own environmental standards. They submitted a request to force the company to address the concerns at their next shareholder meeting this spring, and Granite tried to block shareholders from raising the issue. But in a victory for all of us trying  to stop the mine, the SEC just ruled against Granite, and they cannot block shareholders from raising that issue.

In June of 2024, UPHE submitted comments on Granite Construction’s application for a permit to alter Smith’s Creek in Parley’s Canyon.

Map of the proposed new mine. Courtesy of Bill Rice

Partners in the lawsuit to protect Parley’s include Save Parley’s, Save Our Canyons, HEAL Utah, City of Millcreek, and other concerned residents.