Utah Alliance | Save the Salt Position

 

Far beyond the needs, or wants of the land speed racing community, we believe this world famous salt playa has been needlessly placed in jeopardy.

We engage with you at this historic Bonneville Salt Flats Summit as social scientists who have been the on-site witnesses for more than a half-century watching the conflict unfold that we discuss here today.

It is our position that had the BLM provided proper scientific guidance, and oversight from the onset, starting with Kaiser in the 1960’s -- when the consequences of allowing the salt transfer were unknown -- that the geologic ecosystem should have been vetted more thoroughly before any leases were issued.

In 1985, BLM’s Gregg Morgan saw the deficiencies in the agency’s leases and foretold with chilling accuracy, an environmental train wreck if immediate protective measures were not implemented. His work was ignored, but still rings uncomfortably true.

 We – recreational users, mining industry and government - should honestly try to be partners in:

 Protecting     Profiting     Promoting

 the gifts that are readily given from a healthy Bonneville Salt Flats.

Recognizing that Bonneville is many things to many people, we created a video to summarize our concerns.

Let’s all take 6 minutes to view Utah videographer Ron Kirby’s visual interpretation of my nationally published story, “Shrinking Salt Speedway.” This will help everyone in the room understand our position of trying to get the attention of our national leaders whom we have consistently tried to inform and educate.

Roll Video. . . .

We recreational users come to this meeting resolved to be solution-focused. We earnestly ask all stakeholders before this day is done, to find a conceptual path forward that will restore the salt crust.

Without assigning blame, we have watched for decades as the International Speedway on the north side of Interstate 80 has grown smaller, shorter, its crust thinner while the potash evaporation ponds on the south side have multiplied, grown bigger and filled deeper with waste salt from the completely legal potash mining process.

Before there was an Indy 500, there was Bonneville. In 1914, this was the place that caught the world’s “front-page” attention, and continues to be where great mechanical engineering achievements haven taken place.

Where Utah’s own Ab Jenkins began setting world records in 1932 and as we sit here now, I tell you some of those records remain intact. Ab understood what the salt flats represented in the hearts and minds of not only Americans, but it was his unselfish promotional efforts that brought international racers to Bonneville putting the place on the world motorsports map.

Bonneville has been the place in America where ordinary people have come to do extraordinary things.

Can we not all please work together now to extend that opportunity to Americans yet unborn?

 

 --  Utah Alliance Public Information Officer Louise Ann Noeth addressing the May 17th Bonneville Salt Flat Summit called by the Bureau of Land Management.