(KCPW News) Utah Lake has a public image problem. It's known for being overrun by carp and beach-choking phragmites, and for having poor water quality. But Reed Price, executive director of the Utah Lake Commission, says a new comprehensive master plan could change this.
"We hope that as we make these improvements and promote what a valuable resource the lake is, that the public's perception will change and recognize it as a jewel of Utah Valley and of Utah," Price says.
The master plan includes both a management plan and vision for the future of the lake. It's divided into five sections: recreation, transportation, land use and shoreline protection, natural resources, and public facilities.
Utah Lake is the second-largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Price believes that improving the lake's ecology and public access could turn it into a tourist attraction.
"If it can become a better appreciated resource, it will invite tourists to come and enjoy the lake," Price says. "We see it as a recreational resource, and also a potential economic engine, that once started, can really benefit the citizens of Utah."
The Utah Lake Master Plan will be used as a guideline for policymakers for the next 10 years. It's been adopted by the Utah Lake Commission and will serve as the management plan for the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. Work on the master plan began in January 2008.