Snake Creek Canyon
Location: Wasatch County
Date Completed: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
Snake Creek is a canyon prized for its wildlife (mainly deer, elk, and moose) as well as for the vital, clean water it provides to the communities of Heber City and Salt Lake City. In 1995, some 758 acres of the canyon were preserved through an innovative partnership among private and public interests. UOL, the Snake Creek Preservation Society, the Nature Conservancy and the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation completed a cooperative agreement to purchase Snake Creek Canyon, open it to the public and preserve it in perpetuity.
Encouragingly, efforts to save Snake Creek Canyon have inspired additional preservation initiatives and new partnerships in the area. At the end of 1996, a landowner from Seattle, Washington agreed to protect a dramatic alpine meadow encompassing 92 acres, an additional critical piece to preserving the entire Snake Creek Canyon.
In November 1998, Utah Open Lands, with the assistance of the Snake Creek Preservation Society, acquired the 109-acre Big Four Mining Company parcel. The Big Four property is a critical parcel in the canyon with respect to recreational access to the upper canyon and wildlife conservation. It is also the last accessible lot of record in the upper canyon with significant development potential. The purchase was the final block necessary to secure the canyon’s wildlife habitat, scenic grandeur, and precious watershed value for generations to come. UOL purchased and then sold to Utah State Parks – 54 acres, U.S. Forest Service – 35 acres, and Snake Creek Preservation Society – 20 acres, with conservation easements on the Utah State Parks and Snake Creek Preservation Society parcels being granted to UOL. UOL will hold the conservation easements to all the canyon lands protecting these treasured acres forever. What is more, the lands have been incorporated into Wasatch State Park under the management of Utah’s Division of State Parks and Recreation opening these lands to all residents of Utah.