Our View: Canyon hot springs are iconic

Friday , August 30, 2013 - 10:09 PM

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

The hot springs in the Ogden Canyon, also called hot pots, have been drained. The area above the hot pots is part of ongoing construction of a new waterline, and no one wants rocks to fall on bathers. The hot pots are off limits for 30 days or longer.

The closure is appropriate. The safety of the public is more important than a dip in a hot pot. But, we don’t want to see them go away. Although the hot pots are on private property, they are an iconic presence in this part of the Top of Utah. Many residents have memories of taking a dip there and still enjoy visiting the area.

According to Bill King, who owns the property where the springs sit, the hot pots may not reopen. His main concern is that visitors there sometimes abuse the privilege. He cited drug use, smoking, bonfires, fireworks, as reasons.

His concerns are valid; there have been deaths at the hot pots. We favor a larger presence from local law enforcement to crack down on this type of illegal behavior. But, it bears mentioning, the majority of persons who have bathed in the hot pots are not troublemakers. They are Top of Utahns, and visitors, engaging in an activity in a unique, iconic spot of Ogden Canyon.

We certainly don’t share the opinion of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, which wants the hot pots to stay closed. Let’s have residents, Mr. King, law enforcement, and other members of the community get together and work out an agreement that allows the hot pots to be reopened and enjoyed — as they have been often — by members of the community.

Perhaps the hot springs area could be sold and donated to Ogden city or the Forest Service, so liability could be assumed. A fundraiser to make this happen would be a great idea.

Let’s do all we can to save the hot pots.

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