“Restore Bonneville” program could be fully funded by this September

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Brandan Gillogly

The mission to restore the Bonneville Salt Flats by dramatically increasing the salt pumped onto its surface over the next 10 years almost has a green light; there are just a few more legal hurdles, according to SEMA.

Because the Bonneville Salt Flats is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, saving the salt isn’t simply a matter for the Southern California Timing Association or even for the Utah legislature; the task relies on federal approval and, more critically, on federal funding. This April, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and Utah’s Department of Natural resources took a huge step forward by creating the “Restore Bonneville” program. Utah has already set aside $5 million to revitalize the salt flats and has already spent $1 million. However, the state government will not release the remaining $4 million until the U.S. government allocates matching funds.

The good news? Congress has already appropriated money to the Interior Department. The bad involves (admittedly confusing) financial protocol. The Interior Department has the funds from Congress, and those funds are in fact earmarked for the Bureau of Land Management to spend in its Fiscal Year 2020 budget, but the Interior Department hasn’t actually released the funds.

All that’s left is to write the check—before the 2020 financial year runs out on September 30. To help give the federal check writers a nudge, SEMA asking the motorsport community to submit a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior. SEMA’s even drafted the text for you right here; simply fill in your contact information, and you can help save Bonneville.

To celebrate sending a letter—and to help spread the word—head over to savethesalt.org and grab a cool t-shirt.

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