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You are here : Stone Home > Info Center > Industry news > Debate continues on quarry excavation in Rock Canyon

Debate continues on quarry excavation in Rock Canyon

Updated:2009-04-01 14:04:47

Many community members use the area surrounding Rock Canyon Park to play their favorite FHE activities or to host barbecues at one of the pavilions. Other residents enjoy the area because they can take scenic walks up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, north of the park.


The days of hiking and rock-climbing, however, might be in jeopardy. Because of a conditional-use permit which is currently in litigation, Utah resident Richard Davis is on the verge of turning the mouth of the canyon, located at the north end of the trail, into a quarry for rock excavation.


With Davis' permit pending approval, area residents expressed dissatisfaction toward the idea of having a quarry there. The collected vocal and written complaints garnered enough attention that Davis hired John Park to work as his public spokesperson. Park held a public meeting Saturday at 8 a.m. at the park to inform the residents of Davis' intentions for the area.


"My responsibility is to explain to you … the details," Park said to the residents. "As I do that, there's still this 10,000-pound gorilla in the corner of whether this should or shouldn't be done."


More than 100 residents attended the meeting, raising hands and yelling out comments while Park handed out information sheets.


According to the information sheet, the excavation would take place Monday through Friday, for a maximum potential of 10 hours each day. The rock being extracted would be broken apart "by means of a pneumatic operated hammer on a backhoe."


The sheet confirmed that there would be no blasting materials used to extract the rock. There would also be no buildings or fuel storage built. A safety berm measuring six to eight feet high would prevent any falling rocks from causing damage.


The transportation of the material would be done by typical dump trucks, routing west on North Temple up to 14 times each day.


After an hour-long speech from Park and Sid Sandberg, the Rock Canyon Neighborhood Chair, residents were able to ask questions about the excavation only. Park said he could not comment on questions about Davis or the city's current position on the matter.


Amidst the many concerns such as possible increased noise level, pollution emitted, and safety concerns from rock falling down into the neighborhood area, one resident raised her hand and asked "Why would the city even consider a proposal that would destroy the most beautiful area of this town?"


"It's the consequence of a free country, I guess." Park replied.


Following the meeting, Park invited residents to tour the likely excavation site, in order to have a visual idea where fences would be installed and what part of the canyon would be affected. More than 30 residents walked up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, alongside hikers and rock climbers.


"I'm concerned about the safety of the people," Provo resident Elena Jube said. "I think it's a shame the city would even consider this."


Jube has lived in the area most of her life. She said she takes walks every morning with her family on the trail leading up to the mouth of the canyon. She said after quarrying, she can't see how much of the rock there'll be left.


"The value to a community is not just monetary," she said. "It's the quality of life."


Christopher Oscarson, a professor teaching humanities at BYU, said there is not any respect for the canyon.


"We need green and wild spaces," he said. "We have a spiritual responsibility to preserve the beauty of the earth. … This is a reason to come to BYU. It is to come to a place like this."


Source:http://newsnet.byu.edu

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