New USU report details Utah's top environmental priorities
The Utah State Legislature passed a resolution in support of the creation of the USU Institute for Land, Water, and Air in 2021 and tasked it with a yearly report. Executive director Brian Steed said this year’s report consists of five chapters. The first three address land, water, and air issues in the state. The final two look at the state’s agriculture and the Great Salt Lake in relation to those issues. Steed explained some of the main takeaways from the report.
“We see that we have a state that has less agriculture land in production. That means we have increased urban areas. We also see a state that is dealing with changes in biophysical conditions," said Steed.”
Those are higher temperatures that are resulting in different weather patterns, which are resulting in different precipitation patterns.
“And that’s making for really an interesting dialog with state officials to say ‘what do we need to differently based on these new conditions that we are seeing,” said Steed.
He added that the state has some challenges but there is progress.
“Human choices have made a difference on a variety of things but we still have to be engaged,” said Steed.
Steed will be presenting Utah Governor Spencer Cox with the report’s top-level findings at a public event at Gallivan Hall in Salt Lake City on Thursday at 11am. The 2022 report will be available on the Janet Quinney Lawson Land, Water, and Air Insitute website.