FIA joins Save the Salt Fight to Restore Bonneville Salt Flats
Save the Salt was pleased to receive the following letter from Dennis Dean, President of the FIA Land Speed Records Commission. Support such as this fortifies the land speed racing community's resolve to restore the Bonneville Salt Flats after years of negligence by its federal caretakers, the Bureau of Land Management.
2 January 2017
Mr. Neil Kornze
Director, Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Room 5665
Washington, DC 20240
Re: Restoration of the Bonneville Salt Flats
Dear Mr. Kornze
On behalf of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile Land Speed Records Commission, I am writing to express our deep concern over the sadly deteriorating state of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Commission is responsible for overseeing all automotive land speed records attempted anywhere in the world and, as a result, is quite familiar with the venues used for those attempts.
While I am sure you recognize the extraordinary historical significance of the Salt Flats from an American perspective, you may not be aware of the reverence with which they are held in the world-wide automotive community as well. When I discuss US racing activities with international competitors and enthusiasts of any form of motorsports, the subject always rapidly turns to a discussion of the Bonneville Salt Flats. While they are often, and rightly, described as an American national treasure, they are clearly, and perhaps more importantly, an international treasure as well. You can count on one hand the number of such venues in the world, and there is no argument that Bonneville is at the top of that list, no matter who makes it.
I have been privileged over the years to bring a number of prominent international racing figures to Bonneville for their first glimpse of “The Salt.” No matter how extensive their prior international racing experience may have been, they always stand in awe of both the extraordinary scenery and the unique racing history that has been made there for more than 80 years. Its significance is never lost on them.
We recognize that the Bonneville Salt Flats are to be managed by you as an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern” and a “Special Recreation Management Area.” Regrettably, we see little overt action by the Bureau to indicate that it takes either of those designations seriously. To the contrary, there is more than 50 years of history that leads one to believe that the Bureau’s lack of action has been a direct enabler of the continued deterioration of this international treasure to the point where it may be irreversibly damaged. We sincerely hope that is not the case.
We urge you to take immediate and dramatic remedial actions to not only ensure the Bonneville Salt Flats do not deteriorate further, but more appropriately, are set on a course to restore them to the pristine condition they were in when originally placed in the Bureau’s care.
Read the original letter here: