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Jordan River State Park is a possibility

Jordan River State Park is a possibility (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Would you support turning the Jordan River Parkway into Utah's 44th state park? Representative Mike Winder (R-UT) thinks it's a good idea to help keep the park clean and safe from transients while also remaining open to public users.

“I want to make sure we have it well maintained for all to enjoy, and I think a state park is one way to do that," said Winder. “It’s such a treasure to have this strip of wilderness in the midst of an urban valley.”

Some opponents of the South Salt Lake homeless resource center criticized the location for being too close to the Jordan River Parkway. Winder said authorities would be better able to enforce illegal camping ordinances and other laws under state ownership.

“We’ve had some challenges in the past along the river, with illegal camping, with drug use and prostitution," said Winder. “I don’t want the problems that we’ve historically had on the river to clash with the homeless shelter.”

Various private, city, and county agencies now own the land of the Jordan River Parkway. Winder said uniting the ownership as a state park would allow them to better serve the public.

“There’s some amazing things we can do here along the river, whether it’s urban campsites, or more boat launches, or more connected trails,” said Winder. “I would think that the trials would be kept open for anyone to use at any time. But if we had some urban campsites, they would have a fee to them. And it would be a place where people could legally camp.”

Winder filed the bill Tuesday and planed to meet with state agencies next week. He hoped to present the bill to lawmakers in January.

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