Resolution urges teamwork in Bear Lake upkeep

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HCR18 recognizes the importance of Bear Lake to Utah’s recreation and economy. (Universe file photo)

Utah and Idaho share Bear Lake. This legislative session, Utah legislators are trying to pass a resolution that recognizes Utah’s commitment to work hand-in-hand with Idaho to keep the lake healthy and beautiful.

“What we’re trying to do here is acknowledge how wonderful Bear Lake is and how important it is to the economy of the state of Utah,” said HCR18 sponsor Rep. Logan Wilde, R-Croydon.

Bear Lake sits on the Utah-Idaho border and is split almost equally between the two, according to the lake’s website.

Bear River Commission chair Jody Williams said increasing cooperation between the two states is important to the lake’s health and the surrounding area’s economy.

“This resolution is a public manifestation that the two states believe that cooperation in this commonly shared resource is important,” Williams said. “Idaho is also working on, and we believe will pass, a mirror resolution to (HCR18). This would enhance cooperation and comity.”

Members of the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee discussed Bear Lake’s importance to Utah on Monday because of irrigation water, electricity, economy and several species which are native only to Bear Lake.

“This is the American way, to work across boundaries and state borders,” said Rep. Derrin Owens, R-Fountain Green. “Nothing can be more contentious than water, and the fact that you can reach across state lines and have this joint resolution is a great way forward.”

HCR18 was placed on the consent calendar and was discussed on the House floor Wednesday. It passed on the floor with 60 votes in favor and will be discussed next in the Senate. Visit le.utah.gov to follow it through the last few days of the session.

“It’s time that we work together, holding hands, walking peacefully into the sunset up there at Bear Lake,” Wilde said.

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