Without looking it up, does anyone know what Phragmites are? A quick internet search and translation of taxonomical text reveals that they commonly referred to as “reeds”; basically tall grass that grows in shallow water. Phragmites are just one of the many scourges facing Utah Lake.
The definitive difference between a lake and a puddle is size, however I am inclined to classify that lake down south as, at it’s grandest, a pond. Apparently, you can’t drink the water; not even on a dare. The algae gets blooming and the whole thing stinks. It is toxic.
The good news is we can fix it. The bad news, that will cost tax payers at least 7 billion dollars. Once projects like that get going, they never come in under budget.
Even better news! Private developers are willing to do it for free! They are proposing to dredge the lake (increased depth will solve many of the lake’s problems) and create a 20,000 acre Atlantis. The plans are to develop a 200-500,000 person community, but the break even cost for land is only $400k per acre.
As an outdoorsman, I would love another vibrant lake for fishing and boating. As a real estate agent, I am all for more product to sell. As a taxpayer, I’m happy to let a private party take the risk and increase the tax base, not my tax bill.
The controversy is not whether we should clean the lake or who should embark on the task, but whether the State Legislature has the authority to essentially give away sovereign land. Government in the way of government in the way of enterprise over land at the risk of exploitation.
The original inspiration for this piece can be found HERE