UTAH

BYU professor files countersuit against Utah Lake developer

Feb 1, 2022, 3:20 PM
Utah River Council...
Photo Derek Petersen KSLTV

SALT LAKE CITY — The legal battle over a proposed development in Utah Lake is heating up after the Brigham Young University professor who is being sued for defamation by the project’s developers filed a countersuit.

The attorney for plant and wildlife sciences Professor Ben Abbott says Lake Restoration Solutions is trying to use the courts to silence people who are critical of the plans to dredge the lake and make man-made islands.

“If we are to preserve the public’s right, and the public’s courage to speak out on public issues, we cannot let LRS weaponize the judicial system to silence or even discourage critics,” said attorney Whit Krogue.

Lake Restoration Solutions claims that Abbot made demonstrably false statements to sway public opinion against the development.

Abbot is filing the countersuit under Utah’s anti-SLAPP laws and says the man-made island would be bad for the ecosystem. Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to prevent the use of courts or lawsuits to intimidate people from using their First Amendment rights.

“I have done my best throughout this process to represent what they have. I’ve also asked to speak with them directly and with other city leaders.

The Lake Restoration Solutions idea for Utah Lake

Utah Lake is a shallow lake, its maximum depth is 14 feet. Potentially dangerous algal blooms regularly occur. The Deseret News reports that these two factors are among the drivers behind The Utah Lake Restoration Project

The idea is to remove sediment, make the surface area smaller, restore native vegetation and habitat, and build three islands in the lake — one for recreation, wildlife, and development.

Simone Seikaly contributing to this report. 

Today’s Top Stories

Utah

A brush fire started in Saratoga Springs last night. Photo Credit: Saratoga Springs Fire Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Fire officials say aerial firework caused brush fire in Saratoga Springs

An aerial firework caused a brush fire in Saratoga Springs Sunday night.
1 day ago
The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville. Photo credit: John Wilson....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire starts in Centerville overnight, evacuation order lifted

The Deuel Creek Fire began late Sunday night in Centerville.
1 day ago
Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening. Photo Credit: Tooele City's Faceboo...
Devin Oldroyd

Tooele City releases fireworks restrictions map

Tooele City announced its firework restrictions Sunday evening.
2 days ago
Photo credit: UDOT...
Devin Oldroyd

Semi-truck rolls on I-80 at U.S.-40, Silver Creek Junction

What caused the semi-truck to roll is still under investigation at this time. All lanes in the area have been cleared and are operational.
2 days ago
Image from the scene of the shooting on South Major street in Salt Lake City (Photo courtesy of SLC...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: SLCPD arrest two in connection to Sunday’s Ballpark neighborhood shooting

Police received multiple calls regarding shots fired near 1485 South Major Street at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 3, 2022. 
2 days ago
The scene of the shooting at 900 S. 200 West (Photo courtesy of Adam Sotelo)...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: Shooting on TRAX platform leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of shots fired on a TRAX platform near 900 South and 200 West at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
BYU professor files countersuit against Utah Lake developer