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Decision on massive, old Midway trees coming next week

trees 2.jpg
Ben Lasseter
Many of the trees originally planned for removal form a line along the side of the space where new campsites are planned. Utah State Parks representatives say large branches that hang over areas where people will camp, walk and drive pose a safety threat.

In late June, public backlash over a plan to cut down trees at a state park in Midway delayed a new campsite project there. Next week, the public will find out what the plans are.

In a public meeting Tuesday, the Utah Division of State Parks will announce updated plans for a few acres on the edge of Wasatch Mountain State Park.

The state agency designated an area near the Chalet lodge for new campsites. That proved controversial when community members noticed several old, large black willow trees were tagged to be cut down. The Division of State Parks said that was for the safety of people who would visit the future campsites underneath their branches. But with the backlash, the state delayed its plans to remove the trees.

Arborists and risk management officials from the state have visited the site since then. Division of State Parks Information Officer Devan Chavez said some of them will attend Tuesday’s meeting. The Wasatch Mountain State Park manager and director of Utah state parks will also be there.

“If people want to come, there's going to be plenty of seating options available,” Chavez said. “There's also going to be a much longer segment where the public can come up and ask questions, or even just let their comments be heard if they don't have a question, they just want to let their comment be heard.”

He said while the plans for whether or not trees will be removed will be final, planners may take public input into account for other aspects of the campsite and projects nearby.

The meeting’s Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course Clubhouse. That’s at 975 Golf Course Drive in Midway.

It’ll also be broadcast on the Wasatch Mountain State Park Facebook page.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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