U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Region 6

The Mountain-Prairie Region


NEWS RELEASE


U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
134 UNION BOULEVARD
LAKEWOOD, COLORADO 80228

May 13, 1997

Elise Peterson 801-524-5001

Reed Harris 801-524-5001

Community Involvement Leads to Restoration of Areas Along the Jordan River

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Utah announce that over $7 million dollars will be used to improve natural resources along the Jordan River between 9800 South and 11300 South. This work will be accomplished under two cooperative agreements, one with South Jordan City and one with the Great Salt Lake Audubon. The resulting combined projects will enhance, protect and conserve natural resources on nearly 190 acres along two miles of Jordan River frontage.

The $7 million dollar figure is the result of major funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Utah, Utah Reclamation, Mitigation, and Conservation Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency. It also includes contribution of funds and /or in-kind services from South Jordan City, Great Salt Lake Audubon teamed with TreeUtah, IHI Environmental, National Audubon, Partners in Flight and Ty Harrison.

"These projects have received full support from the local communities because they were developed by local individuals, organizations and municipalities." said Reed Harris, Supervisor for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Utah Field Office. "The Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Utah view this as a unique opportunity to not only enhance and restore the Jordan River in a manner that benefits the natural resources but also supports the community and its vision for the future," Harris said. "This task would have been too big for a single entity, but with contribution by several partners, the common goal of restoring this part of the Jordan River is very real," Harris added. "The seed funding for these projects comes from the natural resource damage claim portion of the Sharon Steel Superfund settlement" explained Kent Gray, Director of Utah Division of Environmental Response and Remediation. "The state is impressed with the projects and pleased that the money will be used to benefit areas near the damaged site."

Construction on these projects will begin next spring, however initial work such as designs and pilot plantings, which are used to determine what types of plants grow best in a specific area, may begin this year. These habitat restoration projects will improve the river floodplain to a more natural functioning system which will benefit wildlife, aid in flood control and help control erosion of the river bank. South Jordan City's project which runs from 10600 South to 11300 South, when completed, will be an integral part of the Jordan River Parkway, portions of which are already completed throughout the Jordan River corridor. The Great Salt Lake Audubon migratory bird project, between 9800 South and 10600 South, will be open to birdwatching, nature study, and small educational groups on a seasonal basis.

The initial concept for these restoration projects is a result of a $2.3 million dollar natural resource damage settlement received by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for injuries sustained to endangered species, migratory birds, and wetlands by release of heavy metal from the Sharon Steel Superfund Site on the Jordan River in Midvale, Utah. A conceptual restoration plan was developed to solicit proposals for the restoration of these natural resources injured at the Sharon Steel Site. These restoration projects with South Jordan City, and Great Salt Lake Audubon are a result of this request for proposals and money from this settlement is included in the $7 million dollar award announced today.


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