Utah race cancellation renews debate about disappearing salt flats

The cancellation of Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for the second year running has increased fears that nearby mining is diminishing the salt flat’s treasured resource.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. Image by Eric Fredericks / CC BY-SA 2.0

Speed Week is a late-summer event, drawing up to 15,000 spectators for a variety of events. Fans and racers are worried that the mines are draining an aquifer that replenishes the flats, leaving a smooth, hard surface that cars use to achieve record-breaking speeds. Federal land managers, however, say they don’t have any evidence that mining is causing a reduction in salt. Event organizers say they can’t find enough useable track space on the salt flats. Read more: nytimes.com

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