Time is running out to save Bonanza Flat

Deadline to raise remaining $13 million is March 15th

PARK CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Time is running out to save Bonanza Flat. While it’s always been in private hands, the nearly 1,400 acres of open space has been a recreational paradise for residents across the state. Park City is looking to buy the land to ensure it’s never developed, but the city needs help to raise the money needed to make the purchase.

“Bonanza Flat to so many people is really fundamentally the heart of the Wasatch,” said Wendy Fisher, Executive Director of Utah Open Lands.

Alpine lakes, miles of hidden trails and hundreds of acres of open space, Bonanza Flat is a place where people from the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back have been going for decades to escape.

“If you want to ride the Wasatch Crest Trail, if you want to go see the fall colors, if you want to hike to Bloods Lake, that's Bonanza Flat,” said Fisher. “We lose that and we lose…as a Wasatch Front resident, you're going to lose a significant area that gives you that piece of mind, that sense of solace that fills your soul.”

Last November Park City residents voted in favor of taxing themselves $25 million dollars in hopes that if the 1,350 acres ever went up for sale, Park City could have a seat at the bargaining table.

Park City Council Member Tim Henney said, “The amazing story here is about hope and abundance, and about this community that came together on really a leap of faith to authorize $25 million general obligation bond.”

The purchase price of the land is $38 million. Park City is $13 million short and time is running out. The city has until March 15th to raise the remaining funds. Park City does have some help. Summit County has stepped up and promised $5.75 million towards the conservation efforts.

“We went through the couch cushions, we looked under chairs, we looked into drawers, we gathered all the change that we could and somehow cobbled together $5.75 million,” said Summit County Council Member Roger Armstrong. “We can’t talk about the specifics of it yet because it’s still closed session as we try to work out the details, but we were able to put together, through combination of land exchanges and cash contributions, we think we’re going to get there.”

Bonanza Flat isn’t just beautiful open space and a refuge for wildlife, it’s also part of the watershed that feeds Salt Lake City. That’s why Park City and Utah Open Lands hope Salt Lake City Public Utilities and Salt Lake County pitch in to help save it.

“With support of Summit County, we believe we’re going to have support from Salt Lake County, from Salt Lake Public Utilities and others,” said Fisher. “The private fundraising is almost at $1.5 million, so we really are in the home stretch and with 13 days left it is more critical than ever for people to step up.”

If you would like to help out with the Bonanza Flat fundraising efforts log on to: http://utahopenlands.org/donate-to-bonanza-flats/


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