Groups sue Utah, trying to save Great Salt Lake with the public trust doctrine
Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to save the Great Salt Lake as its water continues receding and its lakebed blows dust. The case uses a legal concept that recently stifled plans to turn Utah Lake into a private island development and, years ago, stopped a salty lake from getting sucked dry in California. A complaint filed in 3rd District Court on Wednesday invokes the public trust doctrine, claiming the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has failed in its duty to protect the largest saline ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere for the benefit of its residents. While lawmakers and resource managers have taken steps in recent years to bolster the imperiled Great Salt Lake and the unique ecology it supports, they must take more drastic steps to reduce Utahns’ overconsumption of water, the suit argues.