WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. John Curtis introduced a bill that would advance and extend the popular Bonneville Shoreline Trail. The bill will soon be referred to a committee before it goes to the floor.
The bill, titled the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act, would make way for construction on high priority sections of the trail. It would make parts of the trail more accessible to bikers while also connecting dozens of Utah’s communities. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act would ultimately extend the trail from what is now over 100 miles to a total of 280 miles long. The trail would stretch from the Idaho border to Nephi.
“The Bonneville Shoreline Trail provides great outdoor recreational opportunities for Utahns, but several wilderness-designated areas along the trail are hampering full use of the trail and prohibiting bicyclists in those areas,” Romney said. “Our solution would adjust the boundaries without increasing wilderness area to ensure that the trail can be completed and fully accessible.”
“This legislation balances creating new recreational opportunities with protecting the environment,” Curtis said. “With a rapidly increasing population, Salt Lake and Utah Counties are in need of more widely accessible opportunities to hike, bike, and get outdoors. This legislation will do this in a responsible manner and help pave the way for all Utahns to enjoy this world-class trail.”
The bill will also release 326 acres of wilderness to accommodate the advancement of the trail in Salt Lake County and Utah County. So far, the idea sits well with many Utahns.
"It's wide and it goes all over, it has access to different trailheads, it’s really nice," said hiker Enoch Noffsinger. “A lot of things that we rely on are about the mountains... They’re so much of an important part of this state and so capitalizing on that I think is really a good idea."
“I think it's awesome, I hope they make it as good as it is right here," said hiker Bart Michelson.
"To get outdoors and soak up some sun rays and get into this beautiful natural environment that we have available to us, it’s a privilege," said hiker Samuel Woodruff.