PROVO, Utah – Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and other state officials gathered on Tuesday for the ceremonial signing of a resolution encouraging the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation to evaluate either a state park or state monument designation for Bridal Veil Falls.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, refers to the Bridal Veil Falls area as “one of Utah’s most spectacular and beautiful natural waterfalls, conveniently located in Provo Canyon and easily accessible from both the Wasatch Front and the Heber Valley.”
It goes on to state that the “Legislature and the Governor applaud the Division of Parks and Recreation’s plan to conduct a feasibility study and to prepare an operational plan for the Bridal Veil Falls area.”
During a Tuesday press conference at the Utah Geological Survey office in Salt Lake City, Stratton said the bill “begins the Legislative and executive process to put this together to make sure that these wonderful treasures are not loved to death, that we have proper resources for safety and health and protection.”
“One of the great envies of our nation is our state parks and the balance we’ve been able to find between caring for the state parks … and making them economically feasible,” the Orem representative said.
Stratton praised Utah lawmakers for having “worked together through the years in caring for and protecting the treasures that we have here in Utah,” adding that “there’s a significant commitment from the Legislature to put our money where our mouth is, and that we need to recognize as we seek to be wise stewards that there’s a wise and appropriate use of the resources” here in the state.
Stratton introduced the resolution during this year’s general session after Utah County officials discussed selling a portion of Bridal Veil Falls to a private developer, a move that was widely criticized by residents, city officials and conservationists.
In December 2020, the Utah County Commission unanimously approved a conservation easement for the county-owned property in an effort to prevent future private development.
Before the ceremonial bill signing, Cox noted that “sometimes, in the past, Utah has been criticized for not wanting to protect the land,” adding that “nothing could be further from the truth.”
“And this, with Bridal Veil Falls, is a perfect example of that,” the governor said. “We always hear that Utah only cares about development, and this is a case where in the face of development, the Legislature stepped up and said, ‘No, we don’t want to develop this area. We actually want to protect it.’”
Both the House and Senate unanimously approved the Bridal Veil Falls resolution earlier this year. Cox signed the resolution on March 11.
Over a dozen lawmakers co-sponsored the resolution, including Utah County Reps. Brady Brammer, R-Highland; Nelson Abbott, R-Orem; Val Peterson, R-Orem; Jefferson Burton, R-Spanish Fork; Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton; Cory Maloy, R-Lehi, Marsha Judkins, R-Provo; Adam Robertson, R-Provo; and Doug Welton, R-Payson.
Also on Tuesday, Cox ceremoniously signed a bill from this year’s general session that created the Utahraptor and Lost Creek state parks in Grand County and Morgan County, respectively.