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[Return to Provo River Restoration Project (PRRP) Home Page]
[Click here to visit our Angler Access Home page]

The following are commonly asked questions and their answers about access to and management of the middle Provo River corridor: Q:Why are there only seven access sites and where does the Mitigation Commission get its authority for this limitation? Q: What activities are and are not allowed within the corridor? Q:If the PRRP corridor is public land, why can't I do what I want on it and enter it where I want? Q:Why is there so much distance between some sites, while others are so crowded? Q:Can the public or river guides strike deals to gain access to the corridor through private property? Q:Why the "NO ACCESS" signs--why can't I park where I used to? Q:Who will ultimately manage the corridor?

A: The plan approved by the 1997 Environmental Impact Statement for the Provo River Restoration Project (PRRP) (and even for the Bureau of Reclamation’s approved plan for angler access dating back to 1987), called for limiting access to the restored river to seven (7) parking and public access sites. The reasons for this include: 1) to reduce potential conflicts with private landowners by eliminating trespass across their property to reach the public corridor (the public, especially local landowners, raised this as a major concern when the PRRP was being planned); 2) to provide greater control over trash and litter pickup, and sanitary facilities; and, 3) to limit the number of individuals using the corridor at any given time to help control overcrowding and reduce impacts on sensitive wildlife species and their habitats. [Click here for a map and more information about accessing the corridor]

A: The following are examples of what there is to do within the project area: Fishing, Hiking, Bird and wildlife watching, Photography, and Cross-country skiing. To protect the river's sensitive riparian ecosystem, these activities are not allowed: Bicycling, Boating, Roller blading, Skateboarding, Equestrian activities, Hunting, Camping, ATVs, Motorcycles and motorized scooters.

A: While the PRRP corridor is public land, this doesn’t mean the public has a right to access or use the property in any manner it chooses. The government agency with responsibility for the land (in this case, the Mitigation Commission) is required by law to manage the lands in a manner consistent with that agency’s mission. To help illustrate this point, consider some examples: U.S. Highway 40 is public land; yet, the public is not allowed to gain access to or from, nor use the highway, for whatever purposes they desire. Use of these lands is tightly regulated and enforced. Wasatch County playgrounds, school grounds and parks are public lands; yet, the public is not allowed to play golf, shoot archery or consume alcohol on those grounds. For many years and even generations, recognized public uses of highways and playgrounds, school grounds and parks have become well-established. What we are striving to maintain along the Provo River is a new type of public facility in many respects. It is not a parkway corridor (though parkways are also highly regulated, particularly with respect to access points), nor is it a multiple-use property, such as one might expect from lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is a habitat area, designed, constructed and managed to provide aquatic, riparian and terrestrial habitats to replace those lost elsewhere through development of the Central Utah Project, which brings water to Heber Valley and the Wasatch Front. Public uses that are compatible with those objectives, such as angling and wildlife watching are allowed and encouraged; however, those uses are regulated. And one of the few tools available to regulate the amount of use and type of use is limiting access by location and by number of parking spots.

A: The longest distance between parking lots/access points is less than 3 ˝ miles (from the Midway Lane North site to the River Road South site - see map - therefore to reach the midpoint from either end is just over 1 ˝ miles). For those willing to walk a little farther, a more secluded/less crowded experience will be the reward.[Click here to view the PRRP Angler Access map page]

A: In most cases in the land purchase contracts with landowners who now abut or surround the PRRP corridor, we have eliminated direct access to the river. Furthermore, guides will not be able to strike deals with private landowners to gain direct access to the corridor, and a private individual cannot gain access to the river by paying a fee, nor by asking permission of an adjacent private landowner; the private landowners do not have the rights to grant such permission. In a few instances, we have agreed to allow access from private property to the corridor: this access is limited to immediate family or guests, for non-commercial purposes, and the right to access the corridor terminates upon sale of the property to a non-family member. In only one instance, the Johnson Mill Bed & Breakfast was allowed to have access to the corridor for clients because this was an existing commercial enterprise using the river corridor before or at the time the river restoration project was implemented.(Also, this facility is located on the southern end of the above referenced 3 1/2-mile stretch, so it has no advantage in reaching the more secluded river section.)

A: In an effort to control access, as well as educate and inform public users of approved entry locations, we've posted "No Access" signs at several of the more commonly used non-approved access sites. In addition, a four- to six-car parking lot may be constructed near the head of the Wasatch Canal/Rock Ditch system. Public access to about ½ mile of this stream was obtained through purchases made for the PRRP. The purpose for constructing this small parking area would be to reduce illegal parking along old Highway 40 near the Wasatch Diversion. Regarding local law enforcement on county roads, we have no direct authority over parking on County roads. Wasatch County has that authority.

A: The Mitigation Commission proposes to develop a corridor management operating agreement with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and possibly other entities. The operating agreement will reiterate mitigation objectives and requirements for management and public access as partial mitigation for Central Utah Project and other federal reclamation projects. The operating agreement(s) will also specify management costs and will commit funding sources to support ongoing project development, operation, maintenance and management. Funding sources and management, operation and maintenance assistance may include one or more of the following: user fees, volunteer efforts (such as a Riverkeeper program), Mitigation Commission funds, state or local funds, and private donations.

We appreciate the public's support of the PRRP and hope we have developed a project that balances the need for fish and wildlife habitat and the need for public access in a satisfactory manner.

 
Email Link to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, urmcc@uc.usbr.govAddress for Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045, (801)524-3146, Fax (801)524-3148