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Opinion: ‘What we stand to lose’ if we let the Great Salt Lake dry up

The Great Salt Lake is a vital part of Utah in revenue, habitat land and water in a desert. As stewards, we can’t let the lake disappear

SHARE Opinion: ‘What we stand to lose’ if we let the Great Salt Lake dry up

The Great Salt Lake as seen on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Gov. Spencer Cox’s call to action on the Great Salt Lake is encouraging. The lake’s value is staggering: an oasis for over 10 million shorebirds, billions generated in revenue, invaluable water in the desert. 

What we stand to lose weighs heavily on us all. As an economic driver in an apex ecological system, the Great Salt Lake is a harbinger of ecological disaster. Government is underfunded. Litigation wins small battles but loses wars.    

The only path forward is together. Nothing is worth losing that which intrinsically sustains us. Walking in nature, hearing songbirds, watching wildlife, fishing streams, peace of mind. Food, water, air. 

Utahn’s have an innate stewardship ethic. Fish and wildlife sustained pioneers. There is provenance to the land plowed and irrigated. We can renew our commitment to healthy land, water and wildlife.      

Don’t adhere to polarizing perspectives that drive us from solutions. There is a way. We know how. We have skilled, dedicated managers, committed community leaders and business and industry expertise. What we share in nature is what matters most.  

I support planning for the future alongside Gov. Cox and my fellow Utahns. But if the calculus neglects land, water and wildlife values, what we lose in the end is everything we work for.   

Yvette K. Converse  

West Valley City