Feds warn boaters, swimmers to stay out of potash canals on Bonneville Salt Flats
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Bureau of Land Management is dissuading people from visiting the vibrant blue potash production canal, located just east of the Bonneville Salt Flats, which has garnered attention recently as seen on Monday, June 22, 2020. "The canals are industrial facilities leased to Intrepid Potash for mining activities and are not designed or safe for public recreation," reads in part a statement by the BLM.
Parts of Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats are carved into canals and ponds used by Intrepid Potash to extract valuable minerals from the rich brines coursing through them.
Now, intrepid thrill-seekers are using the canals’ saline azure waters near Wendover for paddling and floating, prompting warnings from the Bureau of Land Management and various state agencies to keep out — even though the land is largely public.
The canals were designed for an industrial purpose, and they may be unsafe for boating and swimming, according to BLM officials who oversee much of the land.
These canals, which move brines from mining areas to evaporation ponds, “are not appropriate for recreation due to the canals’ industrial design and other unknown hazards,” said Kevin Oliver, the BLM’s West Desert District manager. “We care about the safety of our public land visitors and encourage the public to avoid industrial areas and mining sites on public lands.”