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. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

3 hours ago

utah capitol pictured, a new law centers adoption legal expenses open records utah...

Curt Gresseth

Bill creating Utah AI lab advances, would test tech, prevent missteps

SB 149 would create an AI lab and test technology while protecting the public in Utah.

4 hours ago


Associated Press

Denver police looking for former funeral home owner after body kept in hearse for 2 years

Police said 33-year-old Miles Harford was cooperating with investigators last week. But on Thursday, police said he hadn't turned himself in.

6 hours ago

Ruby Franke stands with her attorney, Lamar Winward, at her sentencing on Tuesday. Her brother and ...

Emily Ashcraft

Ruby Franke’s parents, brother say Franke was brainwashed

In letters Franke's family said she had isolated herself from them, and they compared her co-defendant Jodi Hildebrandt to a cult leader.

6 hours ago

Odysseus passes over the near side of the moon following lunar orbit insertion on February 21. (Int...

Jackie Wattles, CNN

Historic Odysseus moon mission reaches the lunar surface

The landing is a historic one, marking the first commercial spacecraft to soft-land on the moon.

7 hours ago

A white Jeep crashed into a building in Ogden after the driver experienced a medial issue and lost ...

Curt Gresseth

Car crashes driving up cost of auto insurance

Replacement costs, inflation labor shortages, and more car crashes are all pushing up the cost of auto insurance.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

BYU professor files countersuit against Utah Lake developer