Providing Proof – Location of Trail

The mining operation wants to use the asphalt trail that leads from parking lot as the thoroughfare for their semi-trucks and their claim is that this route is NOT used for foot traffic  into the canyon. The maps on their application show the “Rock Canyon Trail” as being the small path near the river.  From their rendition, trail does not even connect with the trailhead parking lot.  (You may want to look at the application HERE and scroll down to page 12.  Enlarge it and you’ll see.)

We need to provide PROOF that the ASPHALT TRAIL IS the MAJOR PUBLIC ACCESS to the canyon for the hikers, bikers, climbers, etc.  Accordingly, public safety will be greatly impacted by the mining operation. Does anyone have ideas how this could be accomplished?


15 Responses to “Providing Proof – Location of Trail”

  1. 1 F.R.B. April 9, 2009 at 5:02 am

    If we wish to prove that the paved road is the Rock Canyon trail used by hikers, bikers, climbers, scouts, classes etc., we must provide a list of persons and their addresses who have used it as such. It would be important that long-time users tell approximately when they began to use the road, and/or how long they have used it. Specific concrete evidence, not just generalization about usage, is needed. Then, in addition to individual comments in letters sent to authorities, it would be important to provide a consoli users. This might be compiled from the web site, or a sign-up sheet with attached black pen can be tacked up on the bulletin board in the Trailhead Park, or shifts of us could count and then report users for some period of time — for example, stand by the Davis property and ask persons who come up to that point what “trail” they used.

  2. 2 Brian Koralewski April 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I am a long-time resident of Provo and Orem. I use the asphalt road about twice a month to walk up the canyon. The reason I need the asphalt road is because I bring my 9-month old daughter in a stroller. This wouldn’t be possible if the asphalt trail were blocked off. In addition to this, I have noticed that some of the most frequent users of the trail are elderly people. I’m talking about an 81 year old man, and others in their 70’s and 80’s. There is no way they could enjoy the canyon if the asphalt road were blocked off (not to mention that removing the most beautiful quartzite from the canyon may impede their enjoyment).

  3. 4 Trent Gundersen April 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Rock Canyon should not be stripped for surface rock using a mineral claim. This would be the same as pulling up to someone’s home and saying we are going to take all the topsoil as mineral rights. You put the grass later.

    I have used this canyon for many years for scouting activities. We use the public trail that has been paved partially up the canyon to access the area. Paved trails are common for high traffic public wilderness trails. Just look at Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Zions National Park. They all have paved trails that are not roads, they are trails used by the public.

    The Canyon is a place of serenity. The noise pollution from the trucks would destroy this solitude completely.

    I use this canyon on a weekly basis to climb the faces of Red Slab and SuperBowl wall. Two of the most prominent faces of the canyon. They are as much of a hiking trail to me as the paved trail leading up to them. Removing them will remove a resource that can never be replaced. The canyon’s beauty will be impacted permanently and usability will be destroyed.

    The quarry will irresponsibly destroy a public recreation area. There are public trails all over the area that will be completely destroyed by any mining activity.

    The asphalt road/trail is used by my family when I push my 2 year old daughter up the trail in our stroller. It would not be possible to push her up the other established trails. I also have my 4 year old daughter walk up the trail as well, because it is much easier to access and I don’t have to worry about her tripping on the larger rocks on the other trails. In all there are 6 members of my family that will all be impacted by the restriction of access to the paved trail portion of the canyon.

    Trent Gundersen

  4. 5 Randy Wright April 18, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    The road was the main access to the canyon long before it was ever paved, and long before any gates were installed to block vehicles. In the 60s, you could drive all the way to Rock Canyon Campground in a 4 x 4, and I’ve done that. Then the green gate went in at Devil’s Kitchen in the early 1970s.

    Most people used the road grade for access because the other trails off to the north were either very rocky, or led to the north side of the creek. Most of the so-called trails up there are remnants of vehicle traffic, though there were some wildcat walking trails, or what could be called trails, perhaps.

    The road was the choice to get up the canyon for rock climbing or hiking farther. In fact, it was the only route past the initial cliffs in the Red Slab area, which in the late 60s came all the way down to the road, just as the rocks do at the Devil’s Kitchen. This should all be very easy to prove. I myself know many rock climbers who used the road.

    There needs to be some further discussion in this forum about property rights. Some people defend Davis because it’s “his property,” etc. The point that needs to be emphasized is that nobody can just do anything they want with their own property. You can’t put up a gas station in a residential area on your own property, for example. And you shouldn’t be able to put a quarry in some places. The community has a valid interest in how development goes forward, and in what kinds of activities can be conducted in certain places.

    Moreover, if you look at the history of this thing, you quickly see what Davis’s position is. Yes, Davis shrewdly acquired the mining rights back when the Forest Service was buying back a number of defunct mining claims for a pittance. This parcel’s owner was asking a few thousand dollars more than the Forest Service wanted to pay, so it declined the purchase. Davis then saw the opportunity and acquired the claim for around $80,000.

    The understanding of the term “mining” in Rock Canyon was underground mining. And the valuable minerals had played out, so nobody conceived that anything much was at stake. But Davis turned the definition to include surface mining, a whole new concept historically. And there’s not much commercial value in the rocks anyway. Their main value is in their beauty. By threatening to destroy that, Davis has attempted to ratchet up the value proposition.

    • 6 Jonny Angel May 5, 2009 at 7:18 am

      I was very interested to read of your knowledge of the canyon for such a long period of time over the last few decades ! Please if you have any pictures of the canyon from the time periods you spoke of It would be wonderful to be able to use them in our fight and just great to share with the community that uses the canyon now just to let them know, see, learn, understand and be able to appreciate The growth of the life of the canyon. I would ask that you please post them where they can be accessed either on the Rock canyon sight or you can even e-mail them to me directly. Thank you Mr. Wright for your post and any help you can give in this most dire matter.
      Sincerely, Jonny Angel

  5. 7 Randy Nielson April 22, 2009 at 6:27 am

    I was up at climbing in the canyon last weekend and I snapped a bunch of photos of many many people using the asphalt road as a trail. Let me know where to send them and I will get them sent.

  6. 8 Brigg Turner April 27, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Someone needs to set up camp and take tally marks of people that take the different trails. A questionairee is not satisfactory because there is always the problem of interviewer bias. A single blind observation (people that are walking are blind) should be used. Survey should be taken on different days of the week. Pictures would be good too.

    Honestly – few people use the trail by the river; this shouldn’t be a big problem. I don’t live in Provo or I would do it.

  7. 9 Richard April 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    The asphalt road and parking lot are there already, therefore, they must have been built by somebody, probably a governmental agency. So, you need to contact that agency and ask them why they built those paved facilities, and what influenced their decision as to where they were placed. The most important thing you can do now is to hire an attorney.

    (I forgot to proofread, please delete the previous post.)

  8. 10 rockcanyonadvocates May 6, 2009 at 3:05 am

    Dear Randy (Nielson) and Others with Photos,

    Please send your photos of people using the asphalt trail to Brent Wilde, Provo City Development, P. O. Box 1849, Provo, UT 84603-1849. He is giving EVERY letter and piece of evidence to the members of the Planning Commission before they make their decision to accept or deny the application to mine Rock Canyon

  9. 11 Morgan May 6, 2009 at 4:46 am

    My 5 younger siblings and I love climbing in Rock Canyon. My first climb was when i was 2.
    It’s kinda important to us that it stays how it is 🙂
    Thank you.


  10. 12 Joseph Jarvis May 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Like Randy Wright, I too have been a life-long resident of Provo and have witnessed what Randy discussed regarding useage of the road leading into the canyon as the main access into the canyon. Even as an agile Boy Scout, I did not use the river trail. My fellow scouts and friends used the road, and continue to do so because it was then, and is now, the most reasonable entrance to the canyon. As a scout, I participated in sealing and fencing projects of open mines to protect hiking and outdoor enthusiasts from falling into the pits. Has anyone done an environmental impact study on what the mine’s activity will result in, or requested that it be done? Numerous lawsuits in various jurisdictions have resulted in mining and quarry operations being forced to either close or adjust their operation and compensate surrounding property owners for dust and emission eminating from the oeprations. The Utah Valley is a unique draw for empoyment and enjoyable living. The surrounding Wasatch Mountains offer an unmatched view and quick access into a natural retreat, with Rock Canyon being a crown jewel along the bench above the valley. With its position poised above the Provo LDS Temple, the canyon offers a unique draw for people to walk or hike into it. Other locations around the county exist for revenue-generating quarry operations, both for the owner and governmental entities, to be put in place without disturbing the natural beauty of the one easily accessaable canyon situated next to a distinctive landmark such as the temple. Has anyone looked into the diference between mining and quarry regulations? He is constructively trying to operate a quarry under mineral and mining rights. What are the differences between the rights of each? This is a travesty which must not go unchallenged.

  11. 13 Mark May 8, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I personally have regularly used the paved road to the canyon on a year-round basis for the past five years. The asphalt roads are the primary access routes to the mouth of the canyon. While a small unimproved trail also exists, its not as frequently used as are the roads. Most people use the roads because the rocky trail is not as accessible in winter months and is more difficult to use by runners, the elderly, handicapped, families with strollers or bicyclists.

    Furthermore, great efforts have been made to use the trail not as a thoroughfare to the canyon entrance, but as a nature path to enjoy and preserve the native vegetation. On occasions when there are a lot of visitors to the canyon, this trail is not capable of accommodating the traffic without showing (or resulting in) greater land scaring and erosion.

  12. 14 Tricia Hoffman May 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

    I have been hiking up Rock Canyon for over 30 years. Over that period of time, I have rolled strollers up the road, hiked with my family and friends, hosted out-of-town VIP guests, showing them this natural treasure, limped up when my body was injured but my spirit needed to soar, run up when I was in great shape, walked up with my dog, show-shoed and biked up.

    Sometimes I take the trail, but when I go with a group or when I am biking I use the road. And I always use the road to sled down in the winter!

    Even if I never used the road, trucks going up and down that road would destroy the experience – absolutely.

    Besides the natural beauty of the rock faces at the entrance of the canyon, the natural STILLNESS AND PEACE are an integral part of the beauty of the experience.

  13. 15 Emily Lacock May 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Aside from the road being the main for public access, I’ve seen it also used as a right-of-way for firetrucks and police cars when there have been threats of fire, or injuries up the canyon. If the road is to be used by semi-trucks during the mining operations, wouldn’t that change the response time of these safety officials? If it does, then the road being clogged with traffic could potentially put lives and the wellbeing of the canyon itself at risk. If we contact Provo fire/search and rescue, would they be able to give us approximate respond times using the paved road?

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