Mayor Biskupski and City Council meet to help preserve and protect Bonanza Flat

FILE: Jackie Biskupski

SALT LAKE CITY — The City Council and Mayor Biskupski had a meeting to create a joint response to help the purchase and protection of the 1,350 acres of Bonanza Flat on Tuesday.

A press release said $1.5 million from Salt Lake City’s Public Utilities watershed protection fund will go towards the site. The resolution was created during a Formal Council Meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

Bonanza Flat is a popular spot for recreational use, as well as a critical source of Salt Lake City’s drinking water supply, said the release.

“This joint resolution and the financial commitment we are making further underscore our City’s dedication to preserving open space and protecting our precious watershed,” Mayor Biskupski said in the release. “Through recreation opportunities and most importantly, clean drinking water, Salt Lake City residents and countless other will benefit from the investment we are making today.”

Bonanza Flat lies at the point where Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch counties meet near Brighton at the Wasatch Crest Trail. The protection and purchase of the site would give the public ownership and will ensure the public has access to outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, biking, picnicking, and more at the site, all while protecting Salt Lake’s water supply.

“The land in and around Bonanza Flats is within Salt Lake City’s watershed, a critical source of the water supply for Salt Lake City, and worthy of ongoing stewardship,” said Laura Briefer, Salt Lake City Public Utilities Director, in the press release.  “The strong show of support from Park City, Summit County and the public significantly leverages our funding in permanently protecting this valuable watershed land.”

Park City residents committed $25 million in bonds toward the $38-million purchase and protection of Bonanza Flat, the press release said, Summit County pledged $5.7 million and non-profit conservation groups raised $2 million to make up the shortfall between bond and purchase price.

The press release said if these residents and groups hadn’t contributed, the land would have possibly been developed into a luxury resort.