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Last chance to speak up in person on Bridal Veil Falls future

By Genelle Pugmire - | Oct 19, 2021
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Diego Galvez and Gaje Robarge, both of Lehi, enjoy the cool water at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon on June 29, 2015.
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Water cascades down the lower falls of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo)
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Provo resident Sarah Tullis holds a sign in downtown Provo while protesting against proposed private development of Bridal Veil Falls on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (Connor Richards, Daily Herald file photo)

The time for public engagement on the future of Bridal Veil Falls is coming to a close. Saturday is the last day for members of the public to give their input.

Conserve Utah County has been working to help the Utah State Division of Parks and Recreation add an additional public engagement session on the future of the falls. This time, the session will be on site at the falls.

Residents can meet between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday at the edge of the parking lot. The area directly in front of the falls is currently closed due to piping issues with the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.

This will be an informal session where individuals can ask questions about the options being considered. Those options include making Bridal Veil Falls either a state park, state monument or a recreation area.

A survey for residents is open until Oct. 25, but people can still log on after that. Comments submitted after the deadline will not be a part of the presentation to the legislature.

To get to the survey people can visit https://qfreeaccountssjc1.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_diFnpxGqL5Jx3cW?fbclid=IwAR095TNgg-CYSeYQDHNbu9D3FMRzwGDIb7mAlsR8hZs7KL-O8taopHZEuYw

“Conserve Utah Valley likes the state monument idea because there wouldn’t be a fee for people to visit the falls,” said Kaye Nelson, Director of Public Dialogue for CUV. “But other solutions that don’t involve a fee could also be considered. We would like to see the falls remain in a natural state, without development that would take away from the inherent beauty of the area.”

The survey of responses are expected to be gathered next week and will be forwarded to the Utah State Legislature for consideration.

It has been nearly a year since Utah County residents met outside the Utah County Administration Building to protest against a proposal for private development at Bridal Veil Falls.

The protest took place about a week after reports that Provo developer Richard Losee, founder of the Cirque Lodge Addiction Recovery Center, had discussed building a tram and high-end treatment facility at Bridal Veil Falls, which is owned by the county, with Utah County officials throughout the year.

The Utah County Commission rejected a similar Bridal Veil Falls development proposal by Losee in October 2018.

However, emails show that Losee kept in touch with Commissioner Bill Lee, and later with Commissioner Tanner Ainge, about the possibility of building a tram and treatment center at Bridal Veil Falls.

Within weeks, the Utah County Commission discussed conservation easements for the falls and by April 14 it was in the hands of the state.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and other state officials gathered in April for the ceremonial signing of a resolution encouraging the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation to evaluate whether Bridal Veil Falls could become a state park or be designated a state monument.

The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, refers to the Bridal Veil Falls area as “one of Utah’s most spectacular and beautiful natural waterfalls, conveniently located in Provo Canyon and easily accessible from both the Wasatch Front and the Heber Valley.”

It goes on to say that the “Legislature and the Governor applaud the Division of Parks and Recreation’s plan to conduct a feasibility study and to prepare an operational plan for the Bridal Veil Falls area.”

Stratton said the bill, “begins the Legislative and executive process to put this together to make sure that these wonderful treasures are not loved to death, that we have proper resources for safety and health and protection.”

Both the House and Senate unanimously approved the Bridal Veil Falls resolution earlier this year. Over a dozen lawmakers co-sponsored the resolution, including Utah County Reps. Brady Brammer, R-Highland; Nelson Abbott, R-Orem; Val Peterson, R-Orem; Jefferson Burton, R-Spanish Fork; Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton; Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, Marsha Judkins, R-Provo; Adam Robertson, R-Provo; and Doug Welton, R-Payson.

It is now up to the residents to speak up and give their feelings on what should be done with the falls.

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