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Logan developer argues environmental benefits of proposed subdivision

Reeds and grasses emerge from a wetland with trees in the background

Willow Lakes Holdings LLC has proposed a large housing development with two recreational lakes near the Logan River. The company argues the development will provide housing and recreation opportunities, but local environmental groups say it will harm wetlands.

Brett Nelson, a partner in the company, said while alternatives for the site were considered, it was the best option.

“We have to balance ecological impact, economic feasibility. For example the proximity to both the highway and the urban center. No workforce is trying to get a house 30 minutes from where they're working. And then other areas were a significantly higher ecological impact, which we were not willing in pursuing,” Nelson explained.

Wetlands are a critical component of a healthy ecosystem. Nelson acknowledged the ecological impact of filling in wetlands for this development, but said of the other possible locations, this site holds fragmented, low quality wetlands. The development plans to improve the quality of these wetlands, including an easement along the Logan River intended to absorb potential floodwaters and buffer the development from damage.

“A floodplain would be more proximate to the river, and it would have a considerably high quality wetland characteristic…the more appropriate course of action is to create this buffer zone, and then encourage the river in even less extreme events to flood out more frequently, and in a controlled fashion,” Nelson said.

Nelson also said there are recreational benefits to joining the property with initiatives on the Logan River.

“There is an effort underway to create public accessibility to the river at all points, and to expand the Blue Trail initiative, which runs along the river through this entire project property,” Nelson explained. “And then funding was secured to put a bridge from what is Trapper Park, across the river and onto this property. So that anyone who enjoys the river trail…can just continue over onto this property.”

Stay tuned for our continuing coverage of this project, where we explore more details of the Willow Lake proposal. More information about the proposal at:

Ellis Juhlin is a science reporter here at Utah Public Radio and a Master's Student at Utah State. She studies Ferruginous Hawk nestlings and the factors that influence their health. She loves our natural world and being part of wildlife research. Now, getting to communicate that kind of research to the UPR listeners through this position makes her love what she does even more. In her free time, you can find her outside on a trail with her partner Matt and her goofy pups Dodger and Finley. They love living in a place where there are year-round adventures to be had!
Aimee Van Tatenhove is a science reporter at UPR. She spends most of her time interviewing people doing interesting research in Utah and writing stories about wildlife, new technologies and local happenings. She is also a PhD student at Utah State University, studying white pelicans in the Great Salt Lake, so she thinks about birds a lot! She also loves fishing, skiing, baking, and gardening when she has a little free time.