Letter: Help save our Great Salt Lake from becoming the not-so-great barren wasteland

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Great Salt Lake Marina near Saltair is rendered inoperable for all boats as ongoing drought conditions continue to drop lake levels on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.

Dusty, dirty and hot are all words that accurately describe my recent trip to what remains of the original Great Salt Lake Saltair Resort.

Of course they do, given that I walked three miles in sand, over rocks and through all sorts of weeds, grasses and brush, at 1 pm, on a Friday in October, in 80 degree heat.

Despite the heat, the sweeping devastation I encountered was chilling. I signed up for the Archaeology of Saltair Walking Tour, graciously hosted by Dr. Christopher Merrit and sponsored by The Great Salt Lake Collaborative for two unrelated reasons.

I was interested to see the effects of climate change on our Great Salt Lake and equally interested to see the remains of the original Saltair, an iconic spot steeped in rich Utah history.

My maternal grandmother, a longtime resident of Hurricane, spoke fondly of the Saltair Resort and the time she spent there with family. I can confidently say I managed to see what I set out to see. I was able to imagine the glory and grandeur of the Saltair that Grandma Lemmon described so many years ago. At the same time, I was struck by the in-your-face reality of the shriveling Great Salt Lake, and no imagination was needed.

The sheer devastation of The (once) Great Salt Lake was stark and harsh and sad by comparison.

Please, please, I beg of you, take active steps to conserve water. If you don’t already conserve, commit now. If you do conserve, commit to doing more. Each of us can make a difference and each of us must make a difference. Join the cause. Help save our Great Salt Lake from becoming the Not-So-Great Barren Wasteland.

Patricia Isom, Sandy

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