Land & Environment

2023 Report to the Governor, Legislature on Utah's Land, Water & Air Released

By Sierra Campbell |

The Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air released the 2023 Report to the Governor and Legislature on Utah’s Land, Water and Air at an event in downtown Salt Lake City on Thursday morning.

The report features summaries of some of the most critical land, water and air concerns in Utah and represents a collective effort by Utah State University researchers, community leaders and state agency partners. More than 40 authors are featured in the report.

“Research plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our land, water, and air,” said Utah State University President Elizabeth Cantwell. “By providing this knowledge, we aim to equip policymakers with the information necessary for making informed decisions that impact all Utahns.”

Content in the report serves as a snapshot of key issues and concerns in 2023, exploring land, water and air topics in general with two additional special sections highlighting the Colorado River and Utah’s energy.

“The work we do in the institute is based on the premise that when we know better, we can do better,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air. “By using this report to understand the nuances of Utah’s unique landscapes, geography, resources and challenges, all of us, especially those of us who make decisions for our state, can make wiser choices.”

Steed spoke at the report release event, along with President Cantwell and Joel Ferry, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

“Good information is key to making good decisions,” Ferry said. “Utah is one of the best states in the country to live, work and play, and we can make sure it stays that way for our children and other future generations by making wise choices today.”

The release event also featured a panel discussion with five of the authors featured in the report: Sarah Null (watershed sciences), Jessica Schad (sociology & anthropology), Randy Martin (civil & environmental engineering), Darren McAvoy (wildland resources), and Jeff Taylor (Center for Anticipatory Intelligence).

The Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air was established in 2021 through a resolution by the Utah Legislature that voiced support for the institute, outlined its role and purpose, and mandated certain responsibilities. The 2023 Report to the Governor and Legislature helps fulfill part of that mandate.

The full 2023 report is published online and available to the public at


Sierra Campbell
Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water and Air


Brian Steed
Executive Director
JQL Institute for Land, Water, and Air


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