Robin Saville, Don Hudson – Good 4 Utah
Utah is known around the world for the beauty of our public lands. From our farmlands to the mountains and our natural parks. We use the lands for agriculture, recreation, energy and communities.
Our population is expected to increase by 2.5 million in 35 years. That increase will require us to decide how we will balance all these issues. Envision Utah is leading the way in the discussion.
So how do we make space for a growing population?
“The question for us is how can we preserve and protect those things in our natural lands that make them so beautiful,” said Christie Oostema of Envision Utah.
In the late 1990’s when Envision Utah did its first large visioning effort…development was chewing up a lot of our available land. At the time, projections showed we could lose 300 square miles in the greater Wasatch area by 2020. Instead, we are now on pace to use up to 150 square miles. It is encouraging, but experts say there’s still much to be done.
“Recognizing that growth creates new challenges, and if we’re going to maintain a good quality of life, if we’re going to maintain opportunity for our kids to get jobs, if we’re going to maintain the resources that we have, we’ve got to make decisions today,” said Alan Matheson who is the state planning coordinator. (…)