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BOX ELDER SLAMS IDEA FOR LAKE WASATCH

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Box Elder County and federal officials have criticized the proposed freshwater "Lake Wasatch" on the Great Salt Lake, saying such a project could cause extensive ecological damage and trigger a water war.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative said at a meeting Tuesday of the Great Salt Lake Development Authority that a manmade freshwater lake on the briny inland sea could threaten prime wetlands and force the government to reassess plans to spend some $22 million on rehabilitation and expansion of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge."If the Great Salt Lake is freshened up, you're going to impact the entire ecology," said Al Trout of the federally operated wildfowl refuge.

Box Elder County Commissioner Frank Nishiguchi, and a member of the Box Elder Water Conservancy District, told the development board that Bear River water supplies are finite and also largely spoken for.