Courtesy Salt Lake City Gov't
Using watershed and open space protection funds, Salt Lake City on Thursday announced it had purchased two chunks of land in the city’s foothills for $1.4 million.
The land, totaling 305 acres, includes a 144.8 acre parcel directly north of Ensign Peak and a second parcel of 160 acres along a ridge above City Creek Canyon. The smaller parcel, known as Hell Canyon, includes a portion of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, features native gambel oak woodlands and could be used for future trail development. It was purchased using the remaining balance of the city’s Open Space Fund, managed by the Department of Public Services.
The larger parcel, which is located within the City Creek watershed, serves as winter habitat for elk, year-round habitat for turkey and mule deer and is home to a variety of wildflowers. This parcel was purchased with funds from the city’s Watershed Fund, managed by the Department of Public Utilities.
“Preserving this land has been a top priority for our teams in Public Utilities and Parks, who worked cooperatively to secure this deal for Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski in a news release announcing the purchase. “This acquisition helps protect assets our city cares deeply about, including our delicate watershed area, comprehensive trail system, and spectacular wildlife viewing areas, a fitting end to the Open Space Bond which has served this city well for 12 years.”
According to the news release, the $753,000 used to buy the 144.8 acres near Ensign Peak exhausted a $5.4 million Open Space Fund Bond passed by voters in 2003.
Since the bond’s passage, the city has purchased seven parcels totaling 35 acres along the Jordan River, 315 acres across 6 parcels in the foothills and 10 acres on four sites along Emigration and Parleys Creeks.
“Moving forward, the city will continue to look for opportunities to protect valuable open space properties of unique recreational, ecological and scenic value,” Biskupski said.