I spent a lot of time in summer around Provo. my cousin, the tbm to be and bishop were childhood friends that enjoyed fishing, swimming and just having a great time. this was 1950's. the area was very rural and productive, consisting mostly of irrigated farms. it seemed like paradise to me since I was living in L.A.
I just drove to Moscow, ID thru the salt lake valley. I was shocked and appalled by the changes. I suppose those of you who live there may be aware of this, even if you were not there in 1950. It is pretty much wall to wall concrete and asphalt the whole way. I could see the smog hanging over slc from 50 miles away.
I dont know where they are getting their food now but Im sure its not growing there.
I thought about my cousins and their ten children, and the church policy on reproduction. lets see, there are three generations in my life. if all the cousins and the offspring had ten kids, for the original cousin and spouse with a starting point thats 10x10x10= 1000 kids. that could explain the environmental degradation. so much for the paradise of zion. I think my cousin has moved out on the edge of the valley now to escape the crowd. how far can you expand into the desert? If I could be the prophet I would have a "vision" to limit the birth rate.
I would like some feedback from some of you locals. I know this is not just a problem for Utah. luckily I discovered that Idaho is still pretty much pristine. I drove past the Boise temple, its very nice , at least on the outside. I dont guess I will see the inside. when I got home there was 4 inches of rain in the gauge, my cows are fat.

added note about cows: while in Provo at age 11 my cow trader uncle had me crawl into the trunk of his car and then put a calf in there for me to hold while he drove to the destination several miles away. quite and experience for a city boy.he was a jack mormon.

Views: 44

Comment by Kay Burningham on August 22, 2010 at 2:26pm
The degradation of Utah's Wasatch Front began as soon as Brigham Young arrived. With overgrazing (especially sheep) the foothills were barren by 1872! Among geography professionals, SLC has been known as the Pittsburgh of the West and until recently, Jordan River as Utah's Love Canal. See the Great Divide: Selling and Saving the Rocky Mountains [don't recall the exact title or author's name right now, published in 1991 by a New Mexico professor of geography]. This excellent work compares the settlements in Colorado (especially Boulder County) and their strict zoning requirements to Utah's historic and ongoing environmental degradation.

With the focus on the other-worldly, it seems Utahns have historically had no concern for their immediate environment. Only recently have some steps been taken, but...

I grew up in Bountiful in the late 50s, 60s and 70s (nice, clean and green) moved to CA in the mid 80s for most of my career and then returned 10 years ago. I live in Park City, one of a few Utah communities which does have some planning and preservation and a state land trust. In my opinion, this degradation is all an unfortunate by-product of the continuing de facto Utah Theocracy. Lately some concerns have been addressed, but overall I am afraid it is too little too late.

Note: Interestingly, Utah County has had quite good planning throughout its rapid growth compared to its neighboring counties to the north, i.e. SL and Davis.
Comment by xtranch on August 23, 2010 at 8:06am
thanks, Kater, for your informative reply
Comment by Kay Burningham on August 23, 2010 at 9:02am
Your'e welcome!

The whole thing makes me sad because this is where I was born, grew up, etc.

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