LOCAL NEWS

Protesters Push To Preserve Bridal Veil Falls

Dec 8, 2020, 10:28 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm

PROVO, Utah – Protesters pushed back against a proposed private development on Bridal Veil Falls Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday’s vote in Utah County to place the iconic waterfalls under a conservation easement.

“Bridal Veil belongs to everyone,” said Anne Allen. “We don’t need it beautified. God made it beautiful all by himself.”

Allen was one of several protesters outside of the Utah County Commission building Tuesday, holding up signs saying the falls are not for sale and should be preserved.

“I’m right there. Let’s honk and wave, ‘Don’t sell Bridal Veil Falls,’” said Commissioner Bill Lee. “The narrative that has been spun that there’s only either, put it in a conservation easement or sell it, is not a true statement.”

Lee said the waterfalls are not for sale and haven’t been since the county bought them in 2015.

“We purchased the property for preservation,” Lee said.

Lee said he is in support of preserving the popular tourist destination and said it’s not for sale. But the owner of Cirque Lodge alcohol and drug rehabilitation center has proposed adding a private lodge at the top of the waterfall and a tram to get there.

Lee said “full-on development and turning that over” is not his intent “by any stretch of the imagination.” He said he wants the falls to remain publicly accessible. But he also wants to improve safety, noting “multiple people [have died] up on Bridal Veil Falls since we’ve owned it. Which is a tragedy.” Lee also supports exploring amenities, like adding bathrooms and a tram.

“I think leaving it as-is is actually one of the biggest tragedies that could happen,” he said.

“We’re talking about putting man’s mark on that mountain with cables and buildings,” Craig Donaldson told Lee while protesting.

“It’s just gorgeous. And it should be left natural Bill. I call on you to stand with the public and preserve the natural beauty of that place. It is a gem,” Donaldson said.

“Oh yeah. They’re not going to take that without a big fight,” Allen said.

On Wednesday the 3 p.m. Utah County Commission meeting will include a public hearing that will be held online and in front of a limited in-person gathering. The three county commissioners will discuss and potentially vote on a proposal to place Bridal Veil Falls under a conservation easement.

Outgoing Commissioner Nathan Ivie proposed the easement in his final weeks as commissioner.

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Protesters Push To Preserve Bridal Veil Falls