BYU now officially owns the Y.
In 2014, the president signed The Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, which directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell the Y and surrounding land to Brigham Young University. BYU already owned the land surrounding the trail head but the U.S. Forest Service owned the land around the Y itself. BYU finalized the purchase of the 81 acres on Monday, so now it owns the trail to the Y, the Y and the land around it.
“BYU owning the land on Y Mountain finally settles who is responsible for maintaining the area surrounding the popular and heavily traveled trail,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “This is a win for Utahns, Y Mountain visitors, and the federal government. Local control of the trail will provide greater access, improve long-term maintenance, and preserve the beauty of Y Mountain for future hikers to enjoy.”
The change in ownership won’t affect access to the trail or the Y, according to BYU officials. But the school is planning trail improvements beginning in the spring, including shoring up parts of the trail that have eroded, adding signs about native wildlife and distance to the Y and installing permanent lighting to the letter. The addition of the lights will make illuminating the 380-foot letter quicker. BYU also will improve the parking lot and trailhead.
The trail will be open during most of the improvement projects, according to BYU.
“With the deed from the U.S. Forest Service to BYU now recorded, we look forward to sharing Y Mountain with our neighbors, friends and visitors,” said BYU President Kevin J. Worthen, in a statement. “Already there are plans in place to preserve this trail for generations to come.”
At one time Jesse Knight, a benefactor of BYU and prominent Provo resident, owned the land, according to a BYU press release. It was later transferred to the Forest Service.