UPDATE: No more floating down Logan canal

The popular tubing canal in Logan Canyon is now closed, much to the dismay of people of all ages. It was a decision of several different organizations, mainly the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Highway Patrol, Logan City, the Logan-Hyde Park-North Logan-Smithfield Canal Company and the Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization.CMPO Executive Director, Jeff Gilbert, says no one really wanted to close the tubing spot down. “The whole canyon has safety issues and access issues, but the problem with this one is that it gets such high intensity use when it’s hot, and when school’s out,” Gilbert says.Gilbert says safety is the overriding reason for the closure. “It’s on a blind corner and there’s been a significant crash history. It was a difficult decision.”Gilbert says the canal company owns the property and there have been problems with trespassing and the impact of people crossing the highway at a blind spot in the road presents a very dangerous situation.UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders says there have been many traffic accidents at that spot, some of them extremely serious. Sauders says “no parking” signs were posted last year at the access to the tubing area. Unfortunately, he says, that hasn’t worked.”In the last few days, the canal company and the forest service, specifically, have determined that since people are totally ignoring that, they feel it is important to now block that access totally,” Saunders says. “They have taken the extraordinary steps to fence off the opening of that canal. What a lot of folks don’t understand is that canal is private property. Technically, people trespass. They break the law and they trespass on private property when they enter that canal.” Jennifer Parker, a member of the U.S. Forest Service at the Logan Ranger District, says the Forest Service was not responsible for making the decision. “We were not involved in the decision, only that the canal company contacted us about erecting a fence on forest service land.”UDOT made some changes to the area last year, restricting parking next to the traditional canal launch and creating a larger parking area further up the road. Both UDOT and UHP officials have said these changes have not totally solved all the safety issues that exist when people want to float the canal. Gilbert says scheduled work to be done on the canal would mean the tubing had to end in the near future anyway. A 10-foot chain link fence is being constructed around the canal to prevent people from accessing the waterway in the future.

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