Public Utilities Fire Suppression

Public Utilities City Creek Shaded Fuel Break Information

July 2010 Project Status Update

Public Comment is being sought on three test plots of the shaded fuel break that are representative of the proposed project in City Creek Canyon.   

These test plots are scheduled for installation July 27 – 29, 2010.   City Creek Canyon will not be closed during this work.  Test plot sites will be signed to let canyon users know about the public comment period. Please view the sites and report to us your impressions of the project.

The public comment period for these test plots will run from July 26 – September 30, 2010.  Comments can be made online at Comment Form Link.  Hand written, faxed, etc. comments are accepted as well.  Let us know what you think of the plots, their appearance and your concerns about them.

The purpose of these sites is to study the impact of a Shaded Fuel Break on City Creek Canyon.   While only 500 feet long, they are representative of what a shaded fuel break would look like if installed throughout the entire canyon.  While these sites do not accomplish the overall goal of the full project they provide an example of the visual impact the project would have on the canyon and provide an opportunity to observe impacts to vegetation, birds and mammals.

Sites were selected by representatives from the Citizen’s Review Committee along with wildfire specialists from the Unified Fire Authority.

These sites will be analyzed for potential change in avian usage, the native plant community and recreational aesthetics.  This information will then be considered, in tandem with public comment, in making the decision to pursue installing the shaded fuel break throughout the canyon.

For additional information please call  
Florence Reynolds,
Water Quality and Treatment Administrator,
801-483-6864, or email,

Project Status:  City Creek Canyon Proposed Shaded Fuel Break  July 2009

Summary: A Shaded Fuel Break in City Creek Canyon was proposed at a public meeting in April 2009.  Given feedback and community concern for the impact of the Shaded Fuel Break on the canyon, SLC Department of Public Utilities further engaged the community via a Citizen’s Review Committee and has pursued deeper review of the project and possible impacts on City Creek.
This Citizen’s Committee is comprised of representatives with backgrounds and expertise in wildlife management, native plant communities, avian populations and various community and recreation based interests.  Through a series of site tours, meetings and field trips, this committee has recommended the installation and study of three test plots located within the canyon. 
The next step in this process is to present the Committee’s recommendations to the general public and assess direction after public feedback is collected on these recommendations.   
Test Plots:  Site Selection & Study:

Sites have been selected by the Citizen’s Committee and confirmed as effective fire suppression example locations by representatives from the Unified Fire Authority.  In addition to invasive weed baseline mapping by SLC Watershed, both sites have been surveyed by native plant and avian specialists to obtain baseline data. The avian specialist recommends a broader site study which is incorporated into staff recommendations.  Wildlife (mammalian) experts did not do any studies given that shaded fuel breaks will attract more large ungulates to the area.
The proposal is to install the test plot examples of a shaded fuel break during the fall, a season that does not impact nesting bird habitat, and then study the test locations over time.  The reports on the impacts to plants and birds, completed by outside agencies and citizen representatives,  will be presented to the public along with community feedback solicited on the test plots, to determine any further actions.
 1.  Lower Canyon Site
        Latitude:         40°47'59.66"N                  Longitude:      111°52'21.89"W
        Description:  Located just up canyon from Picnic Site #5 on the north side of the road.
2.  Middle Canyon Site
        Latitude:         40°48'46.70"N                  Longitude:      111°50'12.23"W
        Description:  1/3 mile down canyon from the water treatment plant on the north and
        west  side of the road.
3.  Upper Canyon Site
        Latitude:   40°49'14.02"N                        Longitude:  111°48'45.67"W
        Description:  Across from Picnic Site #21
Staff Project Recommendations:
·         Hold a public meeting to introduce the Citizen’s Committee’s & SLC joint recommendation of the creation of the test plots, their location and the study of the ecological impact.  The meeting should be adequately advertised in various media outlets.
·         To install the test plots either fall 2009 or after/before the 2010 bird nesting season.  Citizen Committee ornithological experts should advise as to cut timing.
·         Fund the avian studies as recommended by member of Citizen’s Committee in 2010 to ensure adequate environmental review. 
·         Following reports on habitat impact and adequate public feedback post the installation of the test plots, further recommendations will be made, anticipated timeframe Fall 2010.  Other alternatives may be explored if feasible options are presented that address both public safety and ecosystem health. 

Public Meeting:

A public meeting will be held September 17, 2009 at the Salt Lake City Main Library, 4th floor conference room, 6pm.

Background Materials:
City Creek Watershed Fuel Reduction Demonstration Project

Plant Transect

April 6th 2009 Open House (6.5 MEG PDF)

August 11th, 2009 City Creek Canyon Avian Survey Proposal (48K PDF)

September 17th, 2009 Update Meeting (6.4 MEG PDF)

March, 2010 City Creek Shaded Fuel Break Update (116K PDF)

City Creek Watershed Fuel Reduction Demonstration Project (525K PDF)
The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities and the Citizen’s Review Committee have jointly proposed creating three Shaded Fuel break test plots in City Creek Canyon.  Additionally, further studies of avian populations and native plant communities will be conducted in these test plot areas.  Please give us your feedback in regards to this specific proposal in the link provided below:
Comment Form Link