LOGAN – The city of Logan has received a nearly $50,000 grant from the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help complete funding of the Lower Logan River Conservation Easement, which will extend public and recreational access to that waterway and its banks.
“What a gift to the citizens of our county and others who will visit this property as well,” said Mayor Holly Daines in announcing the $48,200 grant from state officials on Monday.
In addition to expressing the city’s gratitude to the state Department of Natural Resources (a unit of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources), the mayor also credited the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative, the Wildlife Resources Habitat Council and DWR’s Northern Regional Office for their support in obtaining the new state grant.
A conservation easement is voluntary legal agreement that permanently limits uses of land in order to protect its conservation and recreational values. A conservation easement is a favored way to protect property for use by future generations, often at lower costs to public entities.
The Lower Logan River Conservation Easement is 47-acre set-aside along the north side of the Logan River from approximately 1000 West to 2000 West.
The easement will generally include the property 50 feet from the riverbank, providing public access to that land and opportunities for an eventual extension of the city’s trails system.
The land deal was originally announced in May, when Daines thanked Bernice and Sharon Kunzler, the widows of brothers Chet and Darrell Kunzler respectively, for their generous support in making the conservation easement a reality.
“As our city and Cache Valley both continue to grow rapidly,” Daines said Monday, “preservation of this section of the river will provide green space, public access for riverine recreation, new trail network connections and added trail miles.”
In addition to precluding commercial development in perpetuity, the easement will facilitate the city’s flood and stormwater mitigation efforts; provide access for potential river restoration projects; and allow extension of the city’s Blue Trail, a river pathway for kayaks, canoes, tubes and other non-motorized water craft.
Back in May, city officials explained that the price tag for the easement property was slightly more than $20,000 an acre, for a grand total of $963,500.
The city’s funding partners in the land deal include the state of Utah’s LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Fund; Cache County, with a grant of RAPZ tax funds; and members of the Kunzler family.
Specifically, the McAllister fund contributed $481,750 in response to a successful grant request from city officials; the Kunzler family contributed $96,350; and Logan City and Cache County each contributed $165,240 obtained from RAPZ tax grants. The remainder of nearly $55,000 came from city trail grant funding.
“Now that we have received the $48,200 grant from DNR, that means the almost the entire amount was funded through grants,” Daines explained Monday.
“We worked really hard over the course of two years to make (the Lower Logan River Conservation Easement) happen,” she added. “Cache County was helpful. Frank Howe from DNR was helpful. And my staff from legal, parks, public works and community developmental spent many hours on all the (grant) applications.
“It’s a great legacy project for our citizens.”