Nearly $5.7 million for Utah projects - ranging from measuring the shrinking Bonneville Salt Flats to protecting Salt Lake City's watershed - were included in the $12.9 billion Interior Appropriations Act the House approved Tuesday.
But $13.4 million of other proj-ects requested by Utah's delegation were not included. That means funds for such items as repairs for heavily used Wasatch canyon campgrounds and shuttles at Zion National Park must wait another year.Lucky projects
Lucky Utah projects that were funded in the House bill - which now goes to the Senate for consideration - include:
- $683,000 (out of $1.5 million originally requested by Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah) for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey to study the shrinking of the Bonneville Salt Flats and how to save them. Since they were first surveyed in 1926, they have shrunk from 96,000 acres to 25,000.
- $2.5 million (requested by Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah) to expand and upgrade temporary campground facilities in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.
It "will allow the Park Service to replace a patchwork of trailers and temporary buildings with a permanent visitor center including exhibits, a small amphitheater, and information kiosk and other courtesies," Orton said.
- $1.7 million (requested by Hansen) to continue repairs at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge near Brigham City. Years of flooding by the Great Salt Lake and its resulting salt sediment ruined many facilities and flora.
- $725,000 (requested by Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah) for second-phase installation of a sewer in Big Cottonwood Canyon to help protect the watershed of Salt Lake City. Said Owens: "4.7 million people used Big Cottonwood Canyon's ski resorts, campgrounds, picnic areas and trails last year - and that obviously creates the need for the completion of the sewer line."
- $80,000 (requested by Owens) to buy undeveloped land in the Albion Basin in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest to help protect the watershed of Salt Lake City.
Owens and others were also able to obtain $348,000 for an environmental impact statement preparatory to reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone National Park.
Following is a list of other unlucky projects for which members of the delegation sought funding, but were unsuccessful:
- $1.2 million (sought by Orton) to better protect Indian ruins on BLM land in the Four Corners region, and $5 million more for BLM cultural resource programs in general.
However, the bill cut such funding by $500,000 instead. It did, though, include language saying "the Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa area of Utah contains some of the most significant archaeological resources and best-preserved cliff dwellings under BLM management," and urged BLM to use more volunteers and outreach programs to take advantage of and protect them.
- $3 million (sought by Hansen) to create a shuttle in Zion National Park to help relieve traffic congestion.
- $500,000 (sought by Owens) to buy 11 acres at the Zion National Park entrance where a controversial big-screen indoor theater and motel are planned.
- $190,000 (sought by Owens) to repair, upgrade and expand the Redman Campground in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Owens said it is "crippled by its popularity."
- $300,000 (sought by Orton) for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Vernal Station to maintain its management of threatened fishes in the upper Colorado River basin.
- $750,000 (sought by all three congressmen) to move underground the Garkane power lines in Capitol Reef National Park.
- $1.6 million (sought by Owens) for an Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program for "strong motion sensors," diagnostic tools for earthquake preparedness.