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Nature Conservancy and Utah Office of Tourism partner to create Great Salt Lake-centric travel guide

A person stands on top of a rock outcropping with their arms spread wide. In the background is a lake bed and snow covered mountains.

The Utah Office of Tourism and the Nature Conservancy released an informational guide on Friday, helping visitors learn and find activities centered around Great Salt Lake, as the lake faces mounting ecological crises in the face of drought and water-overconsumption.

The new online guide, titled “Great Salt Lake Needs Your Visit”, is looking to help tourists and locals find fun and educational ways to engage with Great Salt Lake.

Larisa Bowen, a writer and marketer for The Nature Conservancy explained the guide was created in light of declining Great Salt Lake water levels.

“With the lake facing this dire crisis, we get a lot of people asking the Nature Conservancy, what can I do to help…and this guide is about reminding people that one simple thing they can do is to go visit the lake and learn about why it's so important for people and nature,” Bowen said.

Rosie Serago, a design and content strategist with the Utah Office of Tourism, said the guide extends beyond the borders of the lake.

“Part of what makes the guide effective is that there are locations like our state parks highlighted, which really gear towards an immersive nature experience, but then there are other organizations…that take place in our more metropolitan setting and you know, really show that the impact of the lake and organizations that are supporting it aren't even necessarily contained to the contiguous borders of the lake but extend into the community,” Serago said.

Bowen sees the guide as a way to get people interested in the lake and connect them with organizations working to protect the lake.

“This guide is a way to connect to different organizations and partners that are working hard to protect the Great Salt Lake. Knowing more about this natural wonder is the first step to caring about its future,” Bowen said.

Serago hopes the guide will help educate the public about the ecological crisis facing the lake, and will inspire people to give back to the environment.

“We actually see this guide is taking a step into this concept of regenerative tourism…it's really the idea that if visitors travel a certain way, they can actually leave a place better than they found it,” Serago explained. “So it's almost going beyond ‘Leave No Trace’.”

You can access the guide at

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.