Yesterday, Congressman John Curtis announced that the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act passed the House, clearing government hurdles to expand the BST. The legislation arose from the need to secure recreational access to public lands and better manage those public lands immediately adjacent to the urban Wasatch Front.
The passing of the Act ensures that there is financial and political support to connect segments of BST along the Wasatch Front. Specifically, the Bill will adjust wilderness boundaries to release small targeted parcels of wilderness to allow trail segments to be connected and in turn, will designate other more deserving lands for protection. This ensures the continued protection of wilderness areas while allowing segments of this much-needed trail to be connected. The long-term vision is to expand the 100mi trail to 280mi, from the Idaho border all the way to Nephi, UT.
Trails Utah was an integral part of both creating and passing the bill; our involvement in the initiative dates back to 2015. In 2019 we started working with IMBA to bolster support for the BST Advancement Act. The Act is supported by the UT Governor, the entire UT delegation, multiple surrounding local governments, the BST committee, Trails Utah, Outdoor Alliance, Trust for Public Lands, & IMBA. This is a huge win for trail users along the Wasatch Front and beyond.