Summit Land Conservancy awarded $19 million for open space acquisition

The federal funding will go toward acquiring 5,000 acres of open space

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The Summit Land Conservancy, a local non-profit dedicated to protecting open space in the Wasatch Back, has received $19 million from the federal government to acquire more than 5,000 acres of open space.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service awarded the money through the federal Inflation Reduction Act. The Summit Land Conservancy will now have to raise the remaining $50 million needed for the acquisition.

Summit Land operates For the Future, a 501(c)3, and the Utah Headwaters Initiative. For the Future is a  nonprofit dedicated to saving the open spaces of the Wasatch Back, preventing the destruction of 53 permanent conservation easements and two preserves on over 15,420 acres of land. The Utah Headwaters Initiative aims to strengthen the agricultural and environmental resources within the headwaters of the Weber, Provo and Bear River Watersheds. All these watersheds feed the Great Salt Lake.

Cheryl Fox, CEO of the Summit Land Conservancy, urges that the nonprofit is still looking for individual donations. The organization is also working with other federal grant providers, such as the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which recently awarded it a $450,000 grant.

The conservancy is in the process of closing on six other federally funded open space easements, including several in Summit County, one in Morgan County, and one in Wasatch County.

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