Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

July 23, 2018
Serviceberry Canyon dispute

In regards to recent statements and complaints about Serviceberry Canyon, the Ault family would like to share some facts. 

We began working with the Tooele County Commissioners, who at the time were Colleen Johnson, Bruce Clegg and Jerry Hurst. The commissioners worked diligently for several years with the Ault Family to create a place where the general public could recreate safely and without incident and still respect private property. Headed by Mr. Hurst, areas that were strictly prohibited from public use before the ordinance was passed were now available in some form for the public to recreate. 

Without this ordinance that was originally recorded in the Tooele County Recorder’s office in 2009, there would not be a Jacob City Loop, a Lion Hill 7-mile loop or any access to Serviceberry Canyon. Due to the passing of this ordinance, the county created a parking area for motorized vehicles for the 7-mile loop, widened the road so you could reach the parking area, installed gates, posted trails giving detailed description of usage, updated the county website, made brochures all reflecting the ordinance that was passed. There have been comments made that the passing of this ordinance “was not done correctly.” These statements are untrue. All procedures were correctly followed in passing this ordinance.

Individuals have made comments misinforming the public that Serviceberry Canyon is a public road. It is not and has never been a public road or had public access. The Serviceberry Canyon Road is privately owned. It was built privately, maintained privately, always gated with locks and posted. The persons making these comments were not involved in our negotiations or have any knowledge of the presentation of facts that were presented to the county commissioners. With the passing of this ordinance in 2009, access has been given to hikers and horsemen only in Serviceberry Canyon. 

There have been statements made that if an emergency situation arises, Serviceberry Canyon is the only access out of Ophir Canyon. This is untrue. There are three other access points: Mercur Road, Lion Hill and Chandler. The Ault family has always been cooperative with any emergency situation that has arisen and will continue to do so. Leo Ault even opened his cabin in Halls Basin to first responders for shelter.

The Ault family homesteaded and ran sheep in the area until the 1970s. Many of the roads in Ophir Canyon were built and maintained by the Ault Family for years. We have always worked to protect history and nature in this beautiful canyon that we love. Our hope is that we have been good stewards to this land. We ask the public, in whatever form you choose to recreate, to please be respectful and stay on the trail. Please don’t litter and pick up trash if you see it.

Julie Ault Gillman

The Ault Family

Ophir

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