The Lower Hidden Valley development is coming back to the Eagle Mountain City Council for further consideration.

Several residents have expressed concerns around the development’s adherence to the City’s Mule Deer Migration Corridor in addition to concerns about the preservation of local mountain biking trails.

Steve Mumford, Community Development director for Eagle Mountain City, sees these adjustments as a win for the developer, trails and the migration corridor.

“These minor amendments to the existing Master Plan will help us ensure that we have the property available for a key wildlife crossing…and preserve many of the trails and trail connections that exist on the City’s property and adjacent to the City’s property,” says Mumford.

The developer, Perry Homes, proposed to amend the Master Development Plan for the site to adjust the density and location of some of the housing within the development proposal, which was originally agreed upon in 2011.

Up for debate when the amendments came before the City Council on Feb. 7 was the future of a 38-acre parcel of City-owned land situated near the proposed development.

Council members voted to approve the land disposal of a portion of the 38-acre parcel.

The land swap between Eagle Mountain City and Perry Homes provides the City with a crucial piece of the wildlife corridor that will allow wildlife to cross Pony Express Parkway.

The City will also gain a few acres of hilltop land to allow more space for wildlife and maintain Creed trail, a popular mountain biking trail in the area, according to Mumford.

In exchange, the developer will get up to eight acres of developable land from the 38-acre, City-owned parcel, which allows more room for mixed-density housing in the area.

The trade of portions of the City-owned parcel and portions of the land intended for development will allow the developer to adjust the original 2011 Master Development Plan to better accommodate the wildlife corridor and several mountain biking trails.

The Eagle Mountain City Council voted to table the proposed amendments until such adjustments could be made.

“The benefits to this plan are that we get an alternative wildlife corridor, a secondary corridor, we preserve nearly all of the trails on the City property, including a couple of key trail connections to both hillsides, we remove some of the development at the top of the hill,” says Mumford. “This plan provides more preserved open space than their previous proposal.”

The new proposed amendments to the original 2011 Master Development Plan will be on the agenda for City Council to discuss at the Feb. 21 City Council meeting.

Ghostly apparitions can appear when plastic grocery bags float by on the wind, or are caught on a fence or shrub.

Multiply that experience by billions and it’s more than just an apparition, but a problem being addressed by governments around the world.

“Our number one problem here at the landfill is single-use plastic grocery bags that are picked up and blown everywhere by the wind,” says Rob Richards, president of Intermountain Regional Landfill in Fairfield.

The world is producing a record amount of single-use plastic waste. Mostly, these plastics are made with polymers created from fossil fuels, according to a new report released Feb. 6 by the Plastic Waste Makers Index 2023.

That same report also indicates that recycling isn’t scaling sufficiently fast to deal with the amount of plastic being produced.

That means used plastic products are more likely to be dumped in landfills, along roadsides, at beaches, and in rivers and oceans than to make it to recycling stations.

In recent years, policies have been created around the world designed to help reduce the volume of single-use plastic.

Consumers may have heard of state or local governments banning products such as single-use straws, disposable cutlery, food containers, balloons and plastic bags.

Last year, the United Nations Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, agreed to create the world’s first-ever global plastic pollution treaty.

The intergovernmental committee is working to meet a 2024 deadline to draft a legally-binding agreement addressing the lifecycle of plastic — from its production and design, to its disposal.

Eagle Mountain residents can help alleviate plastic waste in the community

As a start, residents can consider how to use plastic grocery bags more efficiently:

  • Save and return grocery shopping bags on the next trip to the grocery store and place them in the bag-recycling container provided, usually near the front entrance.
  • Many families have a few large bags they pack up when camping or picnicking. Those can be taken to the grocery store to bag up purchases, opting out of the single-use grocery bag.
  • While out hiking or walking along the many Eagle Mountain City trails, take along a plastic grocery bag to gather up stray roadside trash — especially plastic bags caught on fences and shrubbery.
  • As a family, discuss scheduling a time to perform community service at intervals for gathering trash, which will likely include grocery bags.
  • If you just have one item you’re purchasing, you may want to skip the bag altogether.

“We actively encourage shoppers to purchase and utilize reusable bags and offer a variety of options in our stores,” said a Macey’s Eagle Mountain spokesperson.

According to the Deseret News, a handful of Utah cities have ordinances that prohibit the use of plastic bags. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several more cities were considering bans on plastic grocery bags.

If substantial single-use plastic trash is found within City limits, residents are encouraged to contact the City Neighborhood Improvement department by emailing

Since Eagle Mountain City’s founding in 1996, residents and visitors alike have mistakenly assumed a nearby mountain bears the same name. That assumption is no longer a mistake.

In cooperation with the United States Geological Survey and the Utah Committee on Geographic Names, Eagle Mountain City worked for two years to locate a point within The Lake Mountains for re-designation.

“By naming a summit as ‘Eagle Mountain,’ we now can have that mountain everyone expects while also making a statement about the importance of our natural environment to our community,” says Eagle Mountain City Economic Development Director Evan Berrett, who was tasked with formalizing the change.

The designation does not replace the name of The Lake Mountains, but instead labels a summit within the mountain range.

Requirements for renaming were in place such as agreement and approval by units of government. The highest point within The Lake Mountains could not be renamed as a result. Eagle Mountain City selected a summit only 10-feet lower to comply with USGS standards.

Views and accessibility were considered a top priority by the City when selecting a location.

“The area is a good place to see the Cedar Valley,” says Berrett. “The summit has an area suitable for potential future benches or other similar amenities for visitors.”

Eagle Mountain City has taken on major projects in recent years in the realm of conservation and wildlife management.

Among those initiatives was the approval and implementation of the Mule Deer Migration Corridor, which protects the seasonal migration routes of the area’s mule deer population.

Eagle Mountain City also hired the only City-level wildlife biologist in the state of Utah. This position assists the City’s Planning department in working with developers to conserve natural habitat.

The wildlife biologist also works with advocates in the Cedar Valley to consider the needs of wildlife as part of any new business or housing developments.

Other initiatives such as native vegetation plantings and petroglyph preservation are part of Eagle Mountain City’s broader plans for conservation.

“Eagle Mountain’s identity is now more closely linked with The Lake Mountains,” says Berrett. “Our attachment to these beautiful views assists the City when making decisions that will keep these areas preserved for future generations.”

Accessing “Eagle Mountain” should be done sparingly by residents, according to Berrett. Sensitive communications equipment is located near the summit and its protection is considered key to the long-term success of the site.

Those looking to access this point should be aware that it is a difficult trek. It is accessible by vehicle, but a vehicle with 4×4 capabilities is strongly encouraged.

The new “Eagle Mountain” summit site should not be used for camping or camp fires to help preserve the area.

“This is a proud moment for Eagle Mountain,” says Berrett. “Having an ‘Eagle Mountain’ all residents can see should instill value that these geographic features are permanently linked to the community.”

Around 1:45 p.m. on Monday, two vehicles were involved in a head-on collision on SR-73, closing the road between Eagle Mountain Blvd and Airport Rd. for more than one hour.

The accident occurred when one driver, headed westbound on SR-73, allegedly attempted to pass a dump truck in a no-passing zone and collided with an eastbound driver, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

“Both drivers are in serious condition and were taken by ambulance to local hospitals,” said UCSO Sergeant Spencer Cannon in a tweet, announcing the crash.

Cannon, along with other officers of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, were already nearby at the Cory B. Wride Memorial, honoring Wride on the 9th anniversary of his death.

Some deputies heard the crash happen, according to the USCO.

Law enforcement officers were quickly on the scene to assist while those involved in the crash waited for medical personnel to arrive.

By 3 p.m., both eastbound and westbound lanes of SR-73 were re-opened to vehicle traffic.

Less than 100 years ago, anyone could look up on a clear night and see thousands of stars. Now, millions of children cannot experience the Milky Way where they live.

The increased and widespread use of artificial light at night is not only impairing views of the galaxy, but also adversely affecting the environment, safety, energy consumption and the natural world. 

Light pollution is a side effect of industrial civilization. Its sources include building exterior and interior lighting, advertising, commercial properties, offices, factories, streetlights and illuminated sporting venues. 

Much of the outdoor lighting in the United States is inefficient, overly bright, poorly targeted, creating light trespass (light falling where it is not intended or needed), improperly shielded fixtures and, sometimes, completely unnecessary lighting, according to the International Dark-sky Association. This light, and the electricity needed to create it, is being wasted. 

Eagle Mountain City proactive

One of the primary reasons that residents move to Eagle Mountain is to “get away” from it all.

Recognizing the beauty of the night sky, and that residents can have an impact on preserving it, Eagle Mountain City has proactively taken measures to ensure the night sky is observable for years to come.

In Nov. 2014, as the City was expanding its development and population, the Eagle Mountain City Council approved an outdoor lighting ordinance that requires full cut-off light fixtures for all exterior lighting, effectively making it dark-sky compliant.

The City Council, in doing so, followed the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)  standard, which encourages the use of fixtures that cast little or no light upward in public areas and generally encourages neighborhoods to adopt lighting regulations.

These recommended fixtures are designed to reduce light pollution, minimize glare and reduce light trespass. Please note that these ordinances do not call for eradicating all light. To do so would be unsafe in a thriving community. 

Dark-sky lighting is a concept very important to the dark-sky movement. It greatly minimizes light pollution. The IDA is the recognized authority on light pollution and is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide.

The movement started with professional and amateur astronomers becoming alarmed that nocturnal skyglow from urban areas was blotting out the sight of stars. For example, the world-famous Palomar Observatory in California is threatened by sky-glow from the nearby city of Escondido and local businesses.

Because light at night can be so potentially problematic, the IDA created the Dark Sky Places Program in 2001 to encourage communities worldwide to adapt responsible lighting policies to cut back on light pollution. 

Eagle Mountain lighting requirements

Details of the City Council’s 2014 decisions and subsequent updates are included in the Community Standards Guide, Exterior Lighting Requirements, and the Outdoor City Lighting Code found on the Eagle Mountain City Website

You can help 

It is encouraging to note that light pollution, unlike some other forms of pollution, is reversible, to an extent, and everyone can make a difference. The IDA suggests residents begin by minimizing light from their own home at night. Some of the ways of doing this are as follows:

  • Only use lighting when and where it is needed.
  • If safety is a concern, install motion detector lights and timers.
  • Properly shield all outdoor lights.
  • Keep your blinds drawn at night to keep light inside.
  • Turn off lights when not using them.
  • Don’t use excessive illumination.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting sources and fixtures.
  • Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors, asking them to pass it on.

Energy use/carbon dioxide

The federally-funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) estimates that poorly aimed and unshielded outdoor lights waste more than 17 billion kilowatt-hours of energy each year in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 13% of home electricity usage goes toward outdoor lighting. More than one-third of the light is lost to skyglow, resulting in about $3 billion wasted per year. About 15 million tons of carbon dioxide are released each year to power outdoor lighting, and the IDA estimates that wasted light releases 21 million tons of CO2 annually.

Light pollution can impact nature

Travis Longcore, a biogeographer with the Urban Wildlands Group in Los Angeles, told National Geographic, “Wildlife species have evolved on this planet with biological rhythms. Changing that has profound effects.” 

As an example, light at night throws off the biological clocks of nocturnal animals. The Sea Turtle Conservancy says sea turtles are affected in several ways – first by discouraging them from nesting. Baby sea turtles, which hatch at night, typically find their way to the sea by looking for horizon lights. Artificial lights along the shore throw them off and draw them away from the ocean.

Artificial lights can interfere with the migration patterns of nocturnal birds that use the stars and moon for navigation. Birds can become disoriented by lights and may collide with brightly lit towers and buildings. 

For frogs and toads, when nighttime croaking is interrupted, so is their mating ritual and reproduction.

Eagle Mountain City appreciates input

Eagle Mountain City says that it welcomes and appreciates the concerns of its residents and hopes for continued partnership to help the City make improvements.

On this date nine years ago, the Utah County Sheriff’s Office reported that Sgt. Cory B. Wride had been shot and killed in the line of duty.

Wride had stopped to check on a pulled-over pickup truck on SR-73 between Eagle Mountain and Cedar Fort when he was shot by 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia Jauregui. Wride eventually died from his injuries. Jauregui also died following a high-speed chase and shootout with officers.

“Today, the weather conditions are just like it was nine years ago,” said Garrett Dutson, Sheriff’s deputy for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Dutson has been with the UCSO for 14 years, nine of them with the department’s Eagle Mountain division. For two of those nine years, Wride was Dutson’s sergeant.

“He was my sergeant for two years,” said Dutson. “Myself and my partner, Max Morgan, were on duty with him that day.”

Since his death, Wride has been hailed as a hero by the UCSO and many communities around the state, especially in Eagle Mountain.

Only a few months after his death, the state renamed SR-73, the road where he was killed in the line of duty, as Cory B. Wride Memorial Highway.

In 2018, Eagle Mountain City also opened Cory B. Wride Memorial Park, located near the Overland neighborhood.

Also along SR-73, near the location where Wride was killed, is the Cory B. Wride memorial, which proudly displays two American flags along with Wride’s name and badge number.

Each year on the anniversary of his death, the UCSO honors Wride with a moment of silence at the site of the memorial. Deputies not in attendance also participate via radio on the signal from dispatch.

“Sometimes, being out there, it seems like it just happened the other day,” says Dutson. “A lot of us that are in law enforcement, we do it for the purpose of protecting our communities and doing the right thing. And I know that’s what Cory’s big thing was, doing the right thing.”

Dutson, who helps organize the memorial each year on Jan. 30, is also responsible for the memorial case to Wride that is displayed in the office of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office Eagle Mountain division at Eagle Mountain City Hall.

“His death reminds us of the importance of our job and taking pride in that job and doing what needs to be done to protect the awesome citizens that we serve,” says Dutson.

The moment of silence scheduled for Monday in honor of Sgt. Wride will be held at 1:15 p.m. — around the time of Wride’s reported death.

An intersection that Eagle Mountain residents have requested for traffic signal improvements is now seeing changes.

The Utah Department of Transportation recently began work to install traffic lights on SR-73 at Mustang Way.

Eagle Mountain City Engineer Chris Trusty says this project has been in the works since April of 2022.

“They did a traffic signal warrant study for several intersections along 73,” says Trusty. “And this one did warrant.”

Mustang Way, also known as 14400 W., is located west of the Meadow Ranch neighborhood toward Cedar Pass Ranch.

State Route 73, known to Eagle Mountain residents as Cory B. Wride Memorial Highway, falls under the jurisdiction of the Utah Department of Transportation. Eagle Mountain City communicates regularly with UDOT representatives about the safety needs of the roadway.  

According to Trusty, UDOT has already begun laying the groundwork for installation of the traffic signal.

“They’ve got crews on site right now starting to install the electrical,” says Trusty. “And then, they’ll be able to put down the bases and then they’ll be ready for the materials.”

Trusty says the project should be “pretty quick” from start to finish with an estimated completion in the next six weeks.  

The intersection was the site of an accident that critically injured an 18-year-old man on Jan. 7.

The addition of a traffic signal at Mustang Way accommodates the growth in traffic in Eagle Mountain. Moving traffic along the highway has become a major focus for Eagle Mountain City.

That’s because Cory B. Wride Memorial Highway will eventually be expanded into a major freeway, which will be implemented in several phases. Funding for the expansion has not been allocated at the state level.

Once approved, the first phase will implement a frontage road system running from Ranches Parkway to the Mountain View Corridor interchange, according to Trusty. The second phase will be extending the freeway from Ranches Parkway to Eagle Mountain Boulevard.

UDOT has similar plans for 2100 N in Lehi. Current plans call for the freeway construction to begin on SR-73 after the expansion project in Lehi has been completed.

“UDOT is concerned that any improvements they make to 73 out here is just going to dump traffic somewhere else that doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate that traffic,” says Trusty.

The expansion of 2100 N would allow UDOT crews to expand SR-73 without putting unnecessary strain on other, smaller roadways.

While there is not a specific timetable for the expansion yet, Trusty says that the project is “fairly high up” on UDOT’s priorities list.

It has been a banner year for precipitation here in Eagle Mountain, as well as the entire state of Utah.

After years of low snow totals, the weather pattern has shifted, according to Utah State University researcher and assistant state climatologist Dr. Jon Meyer.

Many residents are asking why Utah has experienced so many storms? Where are they coming from? How does this affect our water conservation efforts? Does this mean the end of Utah’s drought?

The origination of the storms

The jet stream, which is a current of air flowing from west to east that directs storms across the U.S. has returned. After several years of the jet stream directing storms to the north of Utah, the jet stream has shifted. When the jet stream flows over the state, the storms return.

“We’ve been in the middle of the highway of storm tracks, and it’s been consecutive active periods with very little break in between,” says Meyer on the Utah State University website.

Utah has been on track for what is known as the Pineapple Express. It’s a type of winter storm that typically begins as a Pacific low-pressure system spinning near the islands of Alaska. As the storm moves toward the West coast, it gathers tropical moisture from the central Pacific.

The moisture is concentrated into narrow bands which scientists refer to as atmospheric rivers – narrow corridors of atmospheric humidity that is much higher than in typical storms.

“Recently, many of our extreme precipitation events have been related to atmospheric rivers,” Meyer said. “We’ve had a couple of those this year, and that certainly has contributed to the big jumps in Utah’s snowpack.”

Snowpack above average

During the first six to eight weeks of the winter season, Meyer estimates that Utah is already at 80% of the snowpack usually seen by April 1. More snow is still expected.

Very few high-pressure systems have been reported this season, which have plagued Utah for many years, and which keep the storms at bay.

“Our snowpack is way above average right now and we are almost at what we would consider to be a normal year, with still almost 3 months left of snow accumulation to go,” Meyer said.

As of Jan. 16, 2023, Utah’s snowpack in many areas is more than 175% above normal.

According to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Bear River is 169% above normal, while Ogden-Weber is 197% above normal and Provo-Utah Lake is 210% above normal.

Even southern Utah is seeing an astonishing 228% snowpack in the Southwest and 231% in Southeastern Utah. There have been periods in the past 50 years where the snowpack was comparable. During the last 20 years only a few have been this prolific.

Impacts on Eagle Mountain

The drought is not over, but there is cautious optimism that this storm season could start turning the tide.

Whether this trend is sustained will be determined by future winter storms and how the water table is affected by the additional inflow as well as the outflow of water usage during the summer months.

Summer and fall temperatures also impact this status. If they prove to be hot and dry, a lot of what has been captured will be lost in the spring, according to Meyer.

“To get out of a drought like the one we’ve been in, you need consecutive positive seasons and consecutive positive years,” says Meyer. “If next winter is not as great as this year has been so far, again we’ll go right back into drought conditions.”

Expectations for water conservation in 2023

Although a positive water year is good, and signs point to Utah having an improved water outlook, reservoirs are still low.

Scientists also have no idea when the next drought will hit. Experts agree that a long-term approach is needed because demand for water will only increase with state population growth.

Meyer believes that Utah will soon see a model shift in its relationship to water. The sooner residents start doing all they can to conserve, the more ready they will be when conservation isn’t just a suggestion, but a requirement.

“The earlier, culturally, that we can get used to the idea of more significant conservation efforts on the personal level and the individual level, the easier will be that transition to a new paradigm with our relationship to water,” says Meyer.

Most of the western United States has experienced a wetter-than-average winter. This has led to flooding in several states, most notably in California.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac also predicts a wet, albeit mild, winter for the western half of the United States, with most of Utah experiencing moderate rainfall rather than snow.

In preparation for potential flooding in the Cedar Valley, Eagle Mountain City provides residents with sandbags to help divert the flow of water when it becomes necessary to protect residential and business property.

Due to several consecutive storms between mid-December and mid-January, the City has provided around 1,000 sandbags already this year, according to Larry Diamond, Storm Drain supervisor for the City.

Diamond is anticipating more flooding in the coming months due to heavy snowpack, frozen earth and consistent rains.

“I’ve done this for the last 18 years, and every year that starts like this, we’ve always had a higher amount of flooding,” says Diamond.

Because the City’s supply of ready-to-go sandbags is already low, the Stormwater department is organizing a community work project to fill sandbags on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Community Development Building.

“Properly filled and placed sandbags can act as a barrier to divert moving water around, instead of through, buildings,” says Diamond.

The plan for this community project is to fill between 2,000 and 3,000 sandbags to have on hand in case the need arises, whether in Eagle Mountain or to help a neighboring city.

Residents in need of sandbags can reach out to the Stormwater department on the 24-hour emergency hotline: (801) 789-5959, option 4. The Stormwater department will then arrange a time for residents to come and pick up the sandbags.

To further prevent flooding, Diamond recommends that residents check their downspouts for clogs or debris, and to make sure that pipes are diverting water away from the house.

“When I go out to a site,” says Diamond, “I recommend people actually, instead of just percolating the water in the backyard, try and get the downspouts out to the road as quickly as possible.”

This is to prevent flooding to the owner’s property as well as the neighbor’s property. City code requires that residents maintain all stormwater on their property, so by quickly diverting water into City-maintained storm drains, residents can mitigate the risks of code violations, according to Diamond.

The Stormwater department also asks residents to check storm drains and alert the City if they see any clogs or debris so City crews can clear them as quickly as possible and prevent street flooding.

The sandbag community work project will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10:00 a.m. at the Community Development building, 2565 Pony Express Pkwy.

If you have questions or have a group that would like to participate and cannot make it on Saturday, please contact Larry Diamond at or 801-4040-6630.