The Great Salt Lake Project at the S.J. Quinney College of Law

Sep 01, 2023 | Stegner Center

The Great Salt Lake is a keystone ecosystem of hemispheric importance to human civilization and biosphere integrity. The Wallace Stegner Center’s 28th Annual Symposium, focused on Great Salt Lake, highlighted the numerous ongoing efforts to promote water conservation throughout the watershed. However, it is evident that despite these efforts, the health of the lake—the major barometer of our success—still presents unacceptable risks. The symposium also made clear that policy innovation is one of the most promising avenues to effectuate the meaningful change the lake so desperately needs.

To this end, Professor of Law Brig Daniels and Beth Parker, Senior Attorney with the Law & Policy Program, launched the Great Salt Lake Project. The Project recognizes that urgent action is needed to bring water to the lake and seeks to contribute to collective efforts aimed at its preservation.

The Project will assist willing local, state, and federal policymakers by providing informed policy advice to accelerate policy change and mitigate imminent risks relating to the lake. The Great Salt Lake Project will focus primarily on the development of legally sound and politically feasible policy options to conserve and shepherd water to Great Salt Lake at local, state, and potentially federal levels of governance.

To realize its vision, the Great Salt Lake Project will utilize legal expertise both within and outside the College of Law. Beyond the efforts of Daniels and Parker, the Great Salt Lake Project will harness the efforts of law students, including through course offerings, and is looking for opportunities to engage the pro bono efforts of alumni and the broader Utah legal community.