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FUNCTIONAL ASSESSMENTS OF WETLANDS AND WILDLIFE IN THE SALT LAKE COUNTY SHORELANDS SAMP AREA
Heidi Hoven, Bryan Brown, Catherine Chatfield, Brian Nicholson, and Spencer Martin
August 28 2006
As communities along the Wasatch Front grow, the shorelands and uplands of Great Salt Lake are experiencing greater development pressure each year. Relatively low land costs compared to adjacent urbanized areas, easy access to Interstate 80 (I-80) and the proposed Mountain View Corridor, and proximity to the Salt Lake City International Airport make the upland areas west of the airport attractive for economic growth in the area. The area (west of I-215 to Great Salt Lake's shore, and from the Salt Lake County/Davis County line down to 2100 Southâ€”approximately 80,000 acres) happens to encompass wetlands of the southern and southeastern shores of Great Salt Lake that are an invaluable resource for millions of migratory shorebirds and water birds each year. Because of the potential for increasing pressures from development on the wetlands and wildlife that use them, a need for a comprehensive wetlands planning process was identified by environmental and planning groups.
The key case that spurred Salt Lake County to participate in a comprehensive wetlands planning process was an application to establish an asphalt re-conditioning plant within the county limits and in close proximity to extensive wetlands. A planning process was subsequently initiated in 2002 and was designed to guide the preservation, restoration, and maintenance of the county's (and Salt Lake City's) high-functioning wetlands in perpetuity. The Shorelands Plan (Envision et al. 2003) was the first planning phase designed to set the stage for a regional plan. A special area management plan (SAMP) was subsequently initiated in 2003 and involved a science-based assessment of wetlands and associated habitat in the SAMP area to inform the SAMP process. This planning process is important and timely particularly for Salt Lake City, due to increasing pressures from landowners who wish to develop their property in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City.
Marker lat / long: 40.883246, -111.993702 (WGS84)