Chief Sponsor: Brad R. Wilson

Senate Sponsor: Evan J. Vickers


8     General Description:
9          This bill enacts the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     addresses the duties of the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands related to the
13     Great Salt Lake;
14          ▸     defines terms;
15          ▸     authorizes rulemaking;
16          ▸     establishes the program;
17          ▸     provides for oversight by the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands;
18          ▸     imposes requirements on the grantee;
19          ▸     provides for the creation, powers, and duties of the water trust; and
20          ▸     makes technical changes.
21     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22          This bill appropriates in fiscal year 2022:
23          ▸     to the Department of Natural Resources -- Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, as a
24     one-time appropriation:
25               •     from General Fund, $40,000,000.
26     Other Special Clauses:
27          This bill provides a special effective date.

28          This bill provides revisor instructions.
29     Utah Code Sections Affected:
30     AMENDS:
31          65A-10-8, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1988, Chapter 121
32     ENACTS:
33          65A-16-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34          65A-16-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35          65A-16-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36          65A-16-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          65A-16-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38          65A-16-301, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39     Utah Code Sections Affected by Revisor Instructions:
40          65A-16-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953

42     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
43          Section 1. Section 65A-10-8 is amended to read:
44          65A-10-8. Great Salt Lake -- Management responsibilities of the division.
45          The division has the following powers and duties:
46          (1) [Prepare] The division shall prepare and maintain a comprehensive plan for the
47     [lake which] Great Salt Lake that recognizes the following policies:
48          (a) develop strategies to deal with a fluctuating lake level;
49          (b) encourage development of the [lake] Great Salt Lake in a manner [which] that will
50     preserve the [lake] Great Salt Lake, encourage availability of brines to lake extraction
51     industries, protect wildlife, and protect recreational facilities;
52          (c) maintain the [lake's] Great Salt Lake's flood plain as a hazard zone;
53          (d) promote water quality management for the [lake] Great Salt Lake and [its] the
54     Great Salt Lake's tributary streams;
55          (e) promote the development of lake brines, minerals, chemicals, and petro-chemicals
56     to aid the state's economy;
57          (f) encourage the use of appropriate areas for extraction of brine, minerals, chemicals,
58     and petro-chemicals;

59          (g) maintain the [lake] Great Salt Lake and the marshes as important to [the]
60     shorebirds, waterfowl, and other waterbird flyway system;
61          (h) encourage the development of an integrated industrial complex;
62          (i) promote and maintain recreation areas on and surrounding the [lake] Great Salt
63     Lake;
64          (j) encourage safe boating use of the [lake] Great Salt Lake;
65          (k) maintain and protect state, federal, and private marshlands, rookeries, and wildlife
66     refuges; and
67          (l) provide public access to the [lake] Great Salt Lake for recreation, hunting, and
68     fishing.
69          (2) [Employ] The division may employ personnel and purchase equipment and supplies
70     [which] that the Legislature authorizes through appropriations for the purposes of this chapter.
71          (3) [Initiate] The division may initiate studies of the [lake] Great Salt Lake and [its] the
72     Great Salt Lake's related resources.
73          (4) [Publish] The division may publish scientific and technical information concerning
74     the [lake] Great Salt Lake.
75          (5) [Define] The division shall define the [lake's] Great Salt Lake's flood plain.
76          (6) [Qualify] The division may qualify for, accept, and administer grants, gifts, or other
77     funds from the federal government and other sources, for carrying out any functions under this
78     chapter.
79          (7) [Determine] The division shall determine the need for public works and utilities for
80     the lake area.
81          (8) [Implement] The division may implement the comprehensive plan described in
82     Subsection (1) through state and local entities or agencies.
83          (9) [Coordinate] The division shall coordinate the activities of the various divisions
84     within the Department of Natural Resources with respect to the [lake] Great Salt Lake.
85          (10) [Perform] The division may perform all other acts reasonably necessary to carry
86     out the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
87          (11) [Retain] The division shall retain and encourage the continued activity of the
88     Great Salt Lake technical team.
89          (12) The division shall administer Chapter 16, Great Salt Lake Watershed

90     Enhancement Program.
91          Section 2. Section 65A-16-101 is enacted to read:

Part 1. General Provisions

94          65A-16-101. Definitions.
95          As used in this chapter:
96          (1) "Conservation organization" means an institution, corporation, foundation, or
97     association that is:
98          (a) private;
99          (b) nonprofit; and
100          (c) founded for the purpose of promoting conservation of natural resources.
101          (2) "Council" means the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council created in Section
102     73-30-201.
103          (3) "Division" means the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands.
104          (4) "Eligible applicant" means two or more conservation organizations that submit a
105     joint grant application to the division under Section 65A-16-201 and meet the criteria listed in
106     Subsection 65A-16-201(3)(a).
107          (5) "Grant money" means money the division awards to an eligible applicant pursuant
108     to this chapter.
109          (6) "Grantee" means an eligible applicant that receives a grant authorized under this
110     chapter.
111          (7) "Great Salt Lake watershed" means the area comprised of the Great Salt Lake, the
112     Bear River watershed, the Jordan River watershed, the Utah Lake watershed, the Weber River
113     watershed, and the West Desert watershed.
114          (8) "Program" means the Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program created
115     under Section 65A-16-201.
116          Section 3. Section 65A-16-102 is enacted to read:
117          65A-16-102. Rulemaking.
118          In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, and
119     Subsection 65A-16-201(5)(c), the division may make rules to administer the program in
120     accordance with this chapter.

121          Section 4. Section 65A-16-201 is enacted to read:
Part 2. Program Established

123          65A-16-201. Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program established.
124          (1) There is created the "Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program" to issue
125     grant money to establish a water trust to implement projects, programs, or voluntary
126     arrangements that:
127          (a) retain or enhance water flows to:
128          (i) sustain the Great Salt Lake and the Great Salt Lake's wetlands; and
129          (ii) improve water quality and quantity for the Great Salt Lake within the Great Salt
130     Lake watershed;
131          (b) conserve and restore upstream habitats that are key to protecting the hydrology and
132     health of the Great Salt Lake and the Great Salt Lake's surrounding ecosystem;
133          (c) attract or leverage other public or private funding to enhance and preserve the Great
134     Salt Lake watershed;
135          (d) engage agricultural producers, local landowners, local planning authorities, and
136     others to support the Great Salt Lake;
137          (e) support or benefit the Great Salt Lake's natural infrastructure;
138          (f) protect and restore uplands, wetlands, and habitats in the Great Salt Lake watershed
139     that benefit hydrologic or ecosystem functions of the Great Salt Lake;
140          (g) support efforts to integrate water planning and management efforts that benefit the
141     Great Salt Lake watershed;
142          (h) undertake assessments or studies as necessary, consistent with the goals of this
143     Subsection (1);
144          (i) support projects or programs to respond to low water levels and rising salinity in the
145     Great Salt Lake;
146          (j) require the creation and operation of one or more endowments to sustain the water
147     trust and fulfill the purposes of this chapter; or
148          (k) otherwise fulfill the purposes of this Subsection (1) to enhance, preserve, or protect
149     the Great Salt Lake.
150          (2) (a) Subject to legislative appropriations, the division shall award a one-time grant
151     to one eligible applicant to establish a water trust authorized under this section.

152          (b) The amount of the one-time grant under this Subsection (2) shall be equal to the
153     entire appropriation made to the division to implement this chapter.
154          (c) Notwithstanding the requirements for the division issuing a one-time grant under
155     this section, after the grant is issued, the division may receive additional appropriations to be
156     used for the purposes of this chapter, including providing money to the water trust created
157     under this chapter.
158          (3) To be considered for the one-time grant under Subsection (2), an eligible applicant
159     shall submit a written application to the division within 60 days of the effective date of this bill
160     that:
161          (a) demonstrates that the eligible applicant meets the following criteria that are
162     necessary to submit a written application, that the eligible applicant:
163          (i) has offices and staff located in Utah; and
164          (ii) individually or collectively possesses:
165          (A) a history and ability to attract private funding to implement water and land
166     conservation projects;
167          (B) knowledge and experience with the Great Salt Lake and the Great Salt Lake
168     watershed;
169          (C) knowledge and experience managing wetlands in the vicinity of the Great Salt
170     Lake;
171          (D) knowledge and experience in the creation of three or more water trusts or water
172     funds;
173          (E) knowledge and experience in securing approval from the Division of Water Rights
174     for water right applications that support the beneficial use of water in the Great Salt Lake;
175          (F) knowledge and experience with Utah water laws; and
176          (G) participation in the development of studies and reports on the Great Salt Lake and
177     Utah water policy;
178          (b) how the applicant will accomplish the objectives of Subsection (1);
179          (c) how the applicant will satisfy Part 3, Water Trust; and
180          (d) a description of the types of money, in-kind contributions, and other resources the
181     applicant could contribute or attract to support the creation, operation, and administration of a
182     water trust.

183          (4) The division, in consultation with the council and the director of the Division of
184     Water Quality, shall evaluate and rank the applications received under Subsection (3)
185     according to each eligible applicant's experience and demonstrated ability to:
186          (a) attract and secure public and private funding to implement water and land
187     conservation projects;
188          (b) address water quality and hydrology issues of the Great Salt Lake and within the
189     Great Salt Lake watershed;
190          (c) create and operate water trusts;
191          (d) secure approval from the Division of Water Rights for water right applications that
192     support beneficial use of water in the Great Salt Lake;
193          (e) understand, use, and work to improve Utah water laws in a manner that benefits the
194     Great Salt Lake watershed while protecting other beneficial uses of water; and
195          (f) participate in collaborative efforts to develop strategies and recommendations to
196     ensure adequate water for the Great Salt Lake and the Great Salt Lake watershed.
197          (5) (a) Within 90 days of the effective date of this bill, the division shall select the
198     highest ranking eligible applicant as the grantee.
199          (b) The division shall distribute the appropriated money to the grantee as soon as
200     reasonably practicable following the execution of an agreement or agreements that satisfy the
201     requirements of Subsections 51-2a-201.5(4) and 63J-1-220(2).
202          (c) The division shall issue the grant within the time period required under this
203     Subsection (5) notwithstanding whether the division has adopted rules to administer the
204     program under Section 65A-16-102.
205          (6) If the division does not receive an application from an eligible applicant that
206     satisfies each of the evaluation criteria of Subsection (4), the division shall issue a request for
207     proposals under a competitive award process and shall select the most qualified applicant to
208     receive the grant.
209          Section 5. Section 65A-16-202 is enacted to read:
210          65A-16-202. Oversight.
211          (1) The division shall oversee whether a grantee and the water trust that the grantee
212     establishes comply with this chapter.
213          (2) (a) The division, in consultation with the council and the Division of Water

214     Quality, shall establish by rule made in accordance with Section 65A-16-102, interventions for
215     a grantee or water trust that fails to comply with this chapter.
216          (b) The rules establishing interventions under Subsection (2)(a) shall include, among
217     other actions, requiring the grantee or water trust to return unexpended grant money to the
218     division for failure to comply with this chapter.
219          (3) This section may not be construed as limiting the state auditor's enforcement
220     authority under Section 51-2a-201.5.
221          Section 6. Section 65A-16-203 is enacted to read:
222          65A-16-203. Grantee requirements.
223          A grantee that receives grant money under this chapter shall:
224          (1) comply with Section 51-2a-201.5, Subsection 63J-1-220(2), and other applicable
225     laws, regulations, ordinances, or rules; and
226          (2) use grant money to carry out the objectives of Subsection 65A-16-201(1) and to
227     operate the water trust in a manner required by Section 65A-16-301, provided that this chapter
228     may not be construed as limiting the grantee's ability to obtain funding from other public and
229     private sources to assist in the establishment, operation, and administration of the water trust.
230          Section 7. Section 65A-16-301 is enacted to read:
Part 3. Water Trust

232          65A-16-301. Water trust -- Powers and duties -- Advisory councils.
233          (1) The grantee under this chapter shall establish a water trust that:
234          (a) is organized:
235          (i) as a private non-profit organization; or
236          (ii) as an agreement between two or more conservation organizations; and
237          (b) complies with this section.
238          (2) A water trust created under this section shall:
239          (a) use a fiduciary to hold and administer grant money appropriated under this chapter;
240          (b) subject to Subsection (6):
241          (i) register with the lieutenant governor as a limited purpose entity pursuant to Section
242     51-2a-201.5;
243          (ii) file with the state auditor on or before June 30 of each year the accounting report
244     that:

245          (A) satisfies Subsection 51-2a-201.5(2);
246          (B) includes an itemized accounting of the in-kind contributions and other monetary
247     contributions described in Subsection (4); and
248          (C) includes an itemized accounting of the costs incurred under Subsection (3)(a);
249          (iii) provide a copy of the accounting report described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii) to:
250          (A) the division;
251          (B) the Division of Water Quality;
252          (C) the council; and
253          (D) the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Quality Appropriations
254     Subcommittee;
255          (iv) file with the division on or before January 31 of each year a report that satisfies the
256     requirements of Subsections 51-2a-201.5(4) and 63J-1-220(2); and
257          (v) provide a copy of the report described in Subsection (2)(b)(iv) to:
258          (A) the Division of Water Quality;
259          (B) the council; and
260          (C) the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Quality Appropriations
261     Subcommittee; and
262          (c) comply with applicable laws, regulations, ordinances, and rules.
263          (3) A water trust established by a grantee under this section:
264          (a) may use grant money for costs to establish, operate, or administer the water trust,
265     including the hiring of staff or contractors;
266          (b) shall use no less than 25% of the grant money to protect and restore wetlands and
267     habitats in the Great Salt Lake's surrounding ecosystem to benefit the hydrology of the Great
268     Salt Lake; and
269          (c) may invest grant money the water trust receives under this chapter or any private
270     money the water trust may receive, except that the water trust shall:
271          (i) invest and account for grant money and private money separately; and
272          (ii) use the earnings received from the investment of grant money to carry out the
273     purposes described in Subsection 65A-16-201(1).
274          (4) The water trust shall provide a significant match of in-kind contributions or other
275     monetary contributions to support the water trust's operations and for the purposes described in

276     Subsection 65A-16-201(1).
277          (5) (a) A water trust established under this section shall create and consult with one or
278     more advisory councils on matters related to the mission and objectives of the water trust.
279          (b) At least one of the advisory councils shall consist of eight members with a
280     representative from the following:
281          (i) agriculture;
282          (ii) a private land owner adjacent to the Great Salt Lake;
283          (iii) a conservation organization dedicated to the preservation of migratory waterfowl;
284          (iv) a conservation organization dedicated to the protection of non-game avian species;
285          (v) another conservation organization working on Great Salt Lake issues;
286          (vi) aquaculture;
287          (vii) mineral extraction; and
288          (viii) a water conservancy district.
289          (6) The duties of the water trust under Subsection (2)(b) apply to the water trust
290     notwithstanding whether the holdings, revenues, or expenditures of the water trust include
291     grant money or other money from the state.
292          Section 8. Appropriation.
293          The following sums of money are appropriated for the fiscal year beginning July 1,
294     2021, and ending June 30, 2022. These are additions to amounts previously appropriated for
295     fiscal year 2023. Under the terms and conditions of Title 63J, Chapter 1, Budgetary Procedures
296     Act, the Legislature appropriates the following sums of money from the funds or accounts
297     indicated for the use and support of the government of the state of Utah.
298     ITEM 1
299          To Department of Natural Resources -- Forestry, Fire, and State Lands
300               From General Fund, One-time

301               Schedule of Programs:
302                    Forestry, Fire, and State Lands          $40,000,000
303          The Legislature intends that:
304          (1) the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands uses this one-time appropriation to
305     issue a grant under Title 65A, Chapter 16, Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Program,
306     enacted by this bill;

307          (2) the appropriation be nonlapsing; and
308          (3) the appropriation only be used for the purposes of Title 65A, Chapter 16, Great Salt
309     Lake Watershed Enhancement Program.
310          Section 9. Effective date.
311          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
312     upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
313     Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,
314     the date of veto override.
315          Section 10. Revisor instructions.
316          The Legislature intends that the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, in
317     preparing the Utah Code database for publication, replace the reference in Subsections
318     65A-16-201(3) and (5) from "the effective date of this bill" to the bill's actual effective date.