Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Chaffetz: Sell Y Mountain land to BYU
BYU » University would keep public access open to 106-year-old landmark.
First Published May 06 2012 06:14 pm • Last Updated May 07 2012 07:32 am

U.S. Rep Jason Chaffetz wants Brigham Young University to own the federal land on which its iconic block Y sits.

Chaffetz, R-Utah and a former BYU football kicker, recently introduced HR4484, which would require the U.S. Forest Service sell 80 acres of land on Y Mountain to BYU.

Photos
At a glance

The block Y

BYU’s block Y, which stands at the 6,200-foot level of Y Mountain, was built in 1906. BYU President George Brimhall wanted to have all three letters emblazoned on the side of the mountain. So a bucket-brigade of students hauled the sand, rock and lime up the mountain to make the Y, which was done first to serve as the reference point for the other letters. But the task proved so arduous that the university abandoned plans for the B and U.

The Y, now covered in concrete, stands 380 feet high and 130 feet wide.

The Y is illuminated five times a year: freshman orientation, homecoming, Y Days and graduations in April and August.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The university, which requested the legislation, has the resources to better maintain the trail leading up to the 106-year-old landmark, Chaffetz said. His bill would require the forest service to sell the land to BYU at fair market value.

"There have been complaints about access, water on the trail and cleanliness," Chaffetz said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

Loyal Clark, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest spokeswoman, said the forest service is still reviewing the Chaffetz proposal.

And a BYU spokesman said a change in ownership will not restrict access to the Y, a popular hiking destination.

"Nothing will change for the public," said Todd Hollingshead. "They will still be able to access it as in the past."

Chaffetz said BYU owns the lower half of the Y trail going up to the mountain, but the Y and the upper half of the trail are on forest service property.

Clark said the forest service issues BYU a special-use permit allowing it to maintain the Y.


story continues below
story continues below

Chaffetz said there have been some problems with litter on the trail, as well as a lack of water for hikers. He said the last time he hiked the trail he saw garbage, but said it was an overall positive experience.

He said BYU would have more resources for maintaining the trail than the forest service, which he said is stretched thin.

Clark said the forest service uses volunteers to help maintain trails on forest service land.

Chaffetz’s bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Eni Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa; Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; and Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif. All three are BYU alumni.

Hatch’s bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and son of former BYU President Rex E. Lee.

Salt Lake civil rights attorney Brian Barnard saw no constitutional problem with selling the forest service land to BYU, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"But such displays are rather ugly," Barnard said in an email. "Perhaps the federal government might sell 80 acres to Nu Skin [Enterprises]."

dmeyers@sltrib.com

Twitter: @donaldwmeyers

facebook.com/

donaldwmeyers

gplus.to/DWMeyers



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.