Eagle Mountain continues to grow, and that growth presents both challenges and opportunities for maintaining the community’s natural beauty.
Earlier this year, the Eagle Mountain City Council accomplished something incredible in the areas of conservation and habitat protection. Our city, along with the state of Utah and various environmental organizations, is working to develop the Eagle Mountain Mule Deer Migration Corridor.
The migration corridor will continue to be relevant between mid-March and the end of April, which is considered the spring migration period for mule deer in northwest Utah County.
Mule deer have been migrating through what is now Eagle Mountain for hundreds of years to expand their territory in search of food and mating opportunities – often teaching their young nearly identical routes.
As Eagle Mountain grows, it’s important we remain mindful of the city’s commitment to conservation. We want to take care of the majestic scenery and wildlife, not in spite of our growth but as part of our growth plan.
The Wildlife Corridor Overlay Zone, which was approved by our City Council in February of this year, and is a first in the state of Utah, gives Eagle Mountain the opportunity to set aside 1,300 acres of land specifically for habitat conservation.
This includes mountain ridgelines and slopes, deer migration routes, raptor habitat and historically significant areas. These efforts are not just out of concern for the animals, it is for the wellbeing of our residents.
Eagle Mountain is one of the youngest cities in America, and we want our youth to grow up with outdoor recreation options immediately available to them. We also want them to be able to enjoy and learn to appreciate the natural creations with which this area has been blessed.
Eagle Mountain City already dedicates resources toward the protection of sagebrush habitats in our Parks and Open Space Master Plan. We also conduct surveys to better consider conservation in our development proposals. We further work to ensure area wildlife has room to roam.
Over the last two months, those traveling SR-73 may have noticed signage urging motorists to be cautious. According to the Utah Wildlife Initiative, around 200 mule deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the area over the last two years.
With traffic expected to increase between Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs, it’s likely mule deer collisions will rise as well. The signage along SR-73 pairs with the Eagle Mountain Mule Deer Migration Corridor and will continue to remind drivers of high migration times and increased driving risks.
This is just one step Eagle Mountain and its partners are taking to model conservation. We are acting now to maintain open spaces, outdoor recreation and wildlife well beyond our growing years.
Eagle Mountain has a rare opportunity to design and build the community of the future. Housing developments continue to locate in the city, small businesses are finding a home and the Tyson facility is nearing completion.
The exciting growth taking place in Eagle Mountain should not, however, prevent hard thinking about habitat preservation.
As mayor, I consider the protection of Eagle Mountain’s natural spaces critically important to the future progress of the city. My hope is that this city will continue to pioneer innovative approaches in the area of conservation.
I believe we are on the road to accomplishing this in Eagle Mountain.