Connect with us

Politics & Government

Lehi conserves 900 acres of Traverse Mountain open space; Draper City will be steward



On Tuesday, the Lehi City Council took an uncommon action by moving 900 acres of Traverse Mountain open space into a conservation easement. The easement will be held under the stewardship of Draper City.

According to the documents regarding the matter:

“The purpose of this easement is to enable the property to remain forever open and accessible to the public for recreation and scenic enjoyment, protecting in perpetuity its unique natural, wildlife habitat, open space, educational, public recreational, public access and scenic conservation values, preventing any use of the property that may materially impair or interfere with its conservation values and that this easement constitutes a public trust in the perpetual protection of the property.”

“We see the sprawl occurring all around us, and this easement offers to preserve open space and the quality of Lehi,” said Lehi City Sustainability Director Todd Munger.

“We would still own the property. It basically restricts the possibility of developing or mining it in the future,” added Lehi City Director of Community Development Kim Struthers. 

The easement will require the current Lehi City Council and any future Lehi City Councils to seek permission from the Draper City Council to change or alter anything in the conservation easement area that is outside the scope of the allowed uses, which include:

– Public access 


– Recreation (including but not limited to hiking, mountain biking, equestrian use, playgrounds, disc golf, group pavilions, picnic shelters, and off-leash dog areas.)

– Trails and Trail-related structures

– Signs

– Maintenance and restoration of native ecosystem

– Chemical and biological controls (to control noxious weeds, invasive insects, or mosquitoes.)

– Problem and diseased animals

– Fire suppression

– Utilities


Lehi City will be responsible for and bear all costs and liabilities related to the ownership, operation, upkeep, and maintenance of the property, including responsibility for the control of noxious weeds. 

“This took a little while because I don’t like tying future council’s hands, but preservation is really important. We need to preserve property like this when we have an opportunity,” said Mayor Mark Johnson. 

Draper City Mayor Troy Walker attended Tuesday to express support and agree to hold the easement on Draper’s behalf. “We appreciate what you’re trying to do. We have a core value of preserving open space in Draper,” said Walker.

In a comment provided to the Lehi Free Press, Lehi City Community Development Director Kim Struthers said, “We chose Draper City as the Grantee because we have a lot of common interests in the Traverse Mountain range (AKA the low hills) that connect the two communities.  First and foremost, we both have a great interest in preserving the area from future development or grading, that would take away from the natural and scenic value of the area.  We have also coordinated with Draper for many years on integrating our trail systems that spans both sides of the low hills, and hope to continue to build that network of trails to provide great outdoor recreational access from both cities.”

Continue Reading