Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act Becomes Law

Bonneville Shoreline Trail Advancement Act Becomes Law

A bill to create additional bike lanes in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley has been fully approved by the federal government.

The Bonneville Shoreline Development Act (BSTAA) was passed by Congress in December and was later signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Located in the fast-growing Salt Lake Valley, BSTAA will expand Bonneville’s famous coastline and provide more bike trails in the area. The bill achieves this by adjusting land administration boundaries and adding additional routes for the larger network.

Mountain bikers have spearheaded the expansion of the trail, and the latest win is the culmination of years of hard work, said David Vince, Executive Director of the International Mountain Bikers Association (IMBA). news release.

“This is a monumental and historic day for trail and mountain biking!” Vince said. “We are delighted.”

While the Bonneville Coastal Trail already passes through dozens of communities, there are still plans to expand it further. While over 100 miles of trails have already been built, organizers hope they will stretch 280 miles from the Idaho border to Nephi, Utah.

mountain biking
A mountain biker carves out a corner on the Bonneville coastline trail north of Ogden in Utah’s Winta Wasatch Cache National Forest. Photo: Eric Greenwood/Forest Service

support coalition

Other groups supporting trail expansion include the Bonneville Coastline Committee and Trails Utah, who introduced the bill in July 2020 and again in March 2021.

It has been a long road to finally pass the law. IMBA has been involved with the Bonneville Shoreline Trail project for over 20 years, working with local stakeholders on planning and development.

IMBA worked closely with Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) to make the bill a reality.

“The Bonneville Shoreline Trail provides great outdoor recreation opportunities for Utah residents, but several wilderness areas along the trail prevent full use of the trail,” Senator Romney said in a press release. “I’m proud that our legislation has crossed the finish line.”

As Salt Lake City continues to grow, it’s important to provide more recreational opportunities, Rep. Curtis said.

“As someone who enjoys walking and biking this trail, I’m excited to provide greater access to more Utah and proud that this expansion will be passed into law.”

More plans in the works

However, IMBA organizers have more ideas than just expanding the route.

Small segments of overlapping wilderness signage currently prohibit cycling on portions of Bonneville’s planned coastline. If this continues to be a problem, it will interfere with “the full view of the public trail that connects six counties and more than a million residents in the Salt Lake Valley,” the group said.

But the bill takes things one step further by freeing up 326 acres of wilderness divided into more than 20 locations. This will improve trail connectivity and sustainable trail development, according to IMBA. The bill also allocates 326 acres of adjacent wilderness in Mill Creek Canyon to ensure that the total area of ​​land for wildlife remains the same.

More information and maps about the Bonneville Shoreline Development Act can be found here.

To learn more about the history of the Bonneville Coastal Trail, watch the three-part series on how local communities made it a reality.

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