A few months back I wrote an editorial dealing with the current plight of the Bonneville Salt Flats and its salt pack—or lack thereof. I received many emails and everyone clearly wanted both the State of Utah and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to take heed.
In my editorial I asked that rodders write to their respective legislators, especially those living in Utah. We were asking that the right thing be done by protecting the Salt Flats. Additionally, the BLM and Intrepid Mining Company need to have their “doorbell” rung. Even I was surprised by the number of rodders who later emailed me and told me about the letters they had written to various legislators.
I had mentioned in the same editorial about U.S. Senator Orin Hatch from Utah who was in a position to do something and we needed to get him onboard. Well, turns out at least one of our readers took it to heart and wrote to Senator Hatch. To both of our surprise, reader Lynn Poulson of Utah received a response, published here, proving you never know when someone who is in a position to do some good is listening when you take it upon yourself to write them. (As Poulson pointed out: “Sometimes it’s nice to be a Utah voter in an election year.” Isn’t that the truth!)
In reading the senator’s letter there are two “money” sentences. The first one: “While the BLM has not found a clear link between potash mining operations and the depletion of salt, mining companies have been willing to contribute to the efforts to maintain the salt levels in the Flats.” Well, I seem to be able to find a number of people who say there’s a clear correlation between the mining of the salt for potash and the resulting loss of salt at the Salt Flats.
The next intriguing sentence: “Since Intrepid Potash, Inc., took over mining in the Bonneville Salt Flats, the salt lay down project has not been in progress. However, BLM has worked with Intrepid and the salt lay down will commence again shortly.”
My response like many others would go something like this—duh! However, there’s an upside, as it does appear that Intrepid will be working with the BLM and, hopefully, the Save the Salt coalition. It has taken decades to bring the salt to its current poor condition and will take decades more to bring the Salt Flats back.
For all those who say that writing to politicians is a waste of time—I agree—to a point. Granted it’s questionable what has been accomplished to date with regard to the Salt Flats but it does appear all of the efforts to save the salt by the Save the Salt group, individual rodders, and Bonneville racers is beginning to pay off. Now is the time to increase and intensify our efforts and not to let up our efforts. Maybe, just maybe, there will be plenty of salt at the Salt Flats for decades to come.