Land Owner Seeks to Mine Provo's Rock Canyon

Land Owner Seeks to Mine Provo's Rock Canyon

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Sam Penrod ReportingA dispute over mining rock in a Utah County canyon has no resolution this evening.

Rock Canyon, just northeast of Provo is a popular hiking spot, but the entrance to the canyon is private property and its owner wants to excavate the stone.

Land Owner Seeks to Mine Provo's Rock Canyon

Provo Police got involved last month stopping a work crew from removing rock from the canyon, and the two face misdemeanor criminal charges for mining without a permit.

At issue is the cliffs that are the entrance to Rock Canyon. About 80 acres of land is owned by Richard Davis, an Orem resident. But the land borders on public land owned by the city and Forest Service.

Davis recently hired an excavation company to mine the rock to resell as landscaping rock. They were ordered by a judge to stop after city officials filed charges claiming the men did not have the proper mining permits. But the men say the have acquired all the paperwork they need to resume work on what they insist is private property.

Land Owner Seeks to Mine Provo's Rock Canyon

A group of citizens who oppose the mining have organized an effort to stop it. The Rock Canyon Alliance has created a web site and is asking for donations to begin a legal fight against further excavation.

Provo Mayor Lewis Billings declined a request by Eyewitness News to give the city's position to the mining dispute.

A court hearing set for today on whether to allow the mining to resume was postponed until later this month so the defendant's attorneys can have more time to prepare their case.

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