SALT LAKE CITY — Bridal Veil Falls is now a big step closer to becoming a state monument after a bill to make it happen passed out of a House committee Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill.
The bill passed unanimously, with everyone in agreement that the jewel of Utah County and the state needs to be preserved and upgraded.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Kevin Stratton, said he had spoken with several stakeholders on the issue, and just about everyone agrees that there is a need to improve the trails, sanitation and the safety in the area. Lawmakers know how popular the falls are and there are concerns that it is getting "loved to death" in terms of overuse.
“Some of the most common comments we got in the study, and feedback from all these folks was, they want it protected! They don’t want it overdeveloped and they want to remain free as it is currently right now, and that last comment is the one we heard loudest and clearest from Utah County,” said Utah State Parks Director Jeff Rasmussen.
“We have an opportunity here to make something magnificent with Bridal Veil Falls; to make it someplace people will drive six hours out of their way to see.
And little girls can get proposed to at the top like they dream when they were little,” added Mara Hammer, who supports the legislation.
Along with safer conditions, people do not want commercial development, concessions or fees.
There are also questions about whether an aerial tram might return. The old tram was destroyed in an avalanche back in 1996 and had to be completely torn down from the area. The bill sponsors say it’s possible, but not likely, and it would depend on agreements between the county, state and forest service.
The biggest feedback lawmakers received was people want to keep the falls free and to keep it natural.
After passing out of committee, the bill now moves on to the consent calendar of the Utah House of Representatives.