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Tracy 'Burt' Burton

You could always count on Tracy. You could count on his cheerful 'hello"' every time he picked up the phone. You could count on him offering his help for 'whatever you need' and you could count on him to follow through on that promise. For Utah Open Lands, we could count on Tracy and Sue to be at every Portraits of Preservation annual gala and we could count on his unrelenting support for what this organization does and the people that serve its cause. We could count on Tracy's upbeat personality even when the day was tough or the odds seemed stacked against the work we were trying to accomplish.  

For Utah Open Lands Tracy was a hero of Killyon Canyon. It was Tracy and Tom Johnson that came to us to preserve 256 acres of the vital headwater canyon above Emigration Creek in 2007. Endowed with a clear running stream, Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, Elk, Deer, Moose and

cougar the 256 acres included over 210 tent lots that could have resulted in a 35 lot subdivision. Between Tracy and Tom, a different course was charted for this land. Instead of homes lining the ridges or roads replacing the winding stream, Tracy made the forever promise that the meadows of yellow balsam leaf arrowroot, the unique nugget sandstone formations among olive green mountain mahoganies, would be protected when he decided to preserve his portion of the Canyon.  As the Killyon stream rages with water from the tremendous snowmelt of this year, it seems meaningful somehow that we are saying goodbye to our friend amid an epic year for the coalescing of some of his favorite things: streams to fish in and snow to ski on.

So as we smile through our tears, thinking of pivotal moments we shared with our dear friend Tracy, we are uplifted by the places he helped us protect as a landowner, a donor and an Advisory Council member of Utah Open Lands. These places will forever hold his memory dear to us. These places are a constant reminder of the impact he had on our lives and the community of Emigration Canyon, the state of Utah and on the streams and forests that will continue to be a part of the ebb and flow of our lives.

We are glad he was part of our journey and share his final farewell promise that he loved us all and looks forward to seeing us on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

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