Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Adam Campbell and girlfriend Laura Platt take a walk with their dog Sydney in Rock Canyon, Wednesday, October 17, 2012.
Provo reaches $1.1M deal to preserve Rock Canyon

City will pay $1.1 million, deed other land to keep mining out of popular hiking area.

First Published Apr 29 2014 03:18 pm • Last Updated Apr 29 2014 09:51 pm

Fifteen years of wrangling about Provo’s Rock Canyon appears to be over with a conclusion that is bound to be embraced by hikers, bikers and many other Utah County residents.

Provo announced a settlement Tuesday of a long-standing dispute with Richard Davis and his family. The city will pay about $1.1 million in cash and deed $500,000 in land to be identified later to the Davis family for its share of property and mineral rights at the mouth of Rock Canyon.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The settlement will keep future mining and excavation out of the picturesque canyon revered by many residents.

In announcing the deal, Provo Mayor John Curtis called Rock Canyon a "natural treasure" for the community.

"The stunning majesty of the canyon walls," he said in a statement, "fosters tranquillity, enhances our appreciation of nature’s forces and strengthens our sense of timelessness."

The paths, he noted, are favorites for hiking, biking, jogging and strolling. The canyon also is a favorite for technical rock climbers.

In 1998, Richard Davis and Greg Sperry acquired a mining claim to 80 acres at the mouth of Rock Canyon. Five years later, Davis began to remove granite and quartzite.

In October 2003, Provo filed misdemeanor charges, stating that the area was not zoned for such activities.

Shortly thereafter, Sperry sold his share to Red Slab LLC, a corporation formed by state Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, to preserve the canyon. But, in November 2005, Davis sued in 4th District Court, claiming that Provo had illegally annexed the land. He also raised ownership issues and the legitimacy of a conservation agreement between Red Slab and Provo.

Although the court ruled that Provo had not illegally annexed the land, other claims by Davis remained — and he held onto a 50 percent ownership of the land.


story continues below
story continues below

Tuesday’s settlement puts all claims to rest, enabling Red Slab to transfer its share of the canyon to Provo, which will manage the canyon through the parks department, Valentine said.

Before Tuesday’s settlement, Provo owned trailheads and springs at the mouth of Rock Canyon.

The mayor said Tuesday a negotiated settlement was the best outcome to the stalemate.

"The litigation was expensive and was likely to continue for many more years," the mayor said. "The best solution seemed to be to find a settlement, which fairly compensated the economic interests of some parties yet preserved the canyon’s present status for future generations."

Valentine said the settlement offers assurance to recreational users of the canyon "in perpetuity."

"I’m pretty excited about this," Valentine said. "This looks like it is going to finally preserve the canyon for the future of Provo City and the citizens of Utah."

Save Our Canyons executive director Carl Fisher applauded the city’s "foresight" in reaching a deal.

"It’s been a fairly contentious battle over the years and [the canyon is] certainly near and dear to many people around the Provo area," Fisher said. "It’s delightful really to hear that they’ve acted in the best community interest and conservation interest."

Tribune reporters Erin Alberty and Michael McFall contributed to this report.

csmart@sltrib.com



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
  • Access your e-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.