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SALT LAKE CITY — New sections of the popular Bonneville Shoreline Trail would be built in Salt Lake and Utah counties under legislation introduced in Congress on Thursday.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, would adjust management boundaries to allow trail extension while designating nearby U.S. Forest Service land for permanent protection. Small segments of wilderness area currently prohibit biking on parts of the trail.
Curtis said the measure would balance new recreational opportunities with protecting the environment.
“With a rapidly increasing population, Salt Lake and Utah counties are in need of more widely accessible opportunities to hike, bike and get outdoors,” he said.
Romney said several wilderness areas along the route are hampering full use of the trail and prohibiting bicyclists in those areas.
“Our solution would adjust the boundaries without increasing wilderness area to ensure that the trail can be completed and fully accessible,” he said.
The proposed Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act would release 326 acres of wilderness, divided over more than 20 small locations, to extend the trail in Salt Lake and Utah counties. It would designate 326 acres of wilderness to preserve land formerly owned by the Boy Scouts of America in Mill Creek Canyon.
It also proposes to resolve a wilderness boundary issue in Birch Canyon to ensure the trail that runs parallel to the road would be for multiple uses.