Salt Lake County, Rio Tinto Kennecott announce partnership aimed at improving access to Rose, Yellow For, Butterfield canyons

The road to Butterfield Canyon. Photo: Greater Salt Lake Municipal Services District

SALT LAKE COUNTY, March 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County Council on Tuesday approved a lease agreement between the county and Rio Tinto Kennecott for 17 acres of land in southwest Salt Lake County.

The partnership will continue efforts by Salt Lake County to build a network of multi-user trails to improve access to Rose, Yellow Fork, and Butterfield canyons.

In partnership with Rio Tinto and the Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake County will build 12 miles of new trails in areas where public access has previously been unavailable, a county statement says.

This lease agreement follows last week’s purchase of 94 other acres of open space in Butterfield Canyon and complements a recent acquisition of 50 acres that will serve as a trailhead to this system of trails.

Together, these acquisitions are part of the Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation’s master plans to increase accessible, equitable, sustainable, and quality open space for everyone in the county, the statement says.

“We are moving quickly and deliberately with many partners to make hiking, biking, and other recreation on our west bench trails a reality,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said in a prepared statement.

We are grateful for the partnership with Rio Tinto Kennecott, Bureau of Land Management, Spencer Millerberg, and the stakeholder group. The collaborative efforts, a first of its kind for outdoor recreation, will provide residents and guests an enhanced outdoor experience in the southwest region of the county.”

Gaby Porier, Rio Tinto Kennecott managing director, also shared thoughts.

“Providing 17 acres of land in Butterfield Canyon through our lease agreement with Salt Lake County will improve the recreational experience of community members for many years to come. Our hope is for more people to safely enjoy the outdoors and to appreciate them as much as we do.”

Now that the council approved the lease agreement with Rio Tinto, Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation has assumed stewardship of the acreage, the statement says.

The approximate area of Butterfield Canyon is marked in red. Image: Google Maps

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