Bonneville Salt Flats Needs Urgent Restoring

  • The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA has been the site where countless speed records have been created and broken.

  • The salt has been disappearing since the 60’s until now.

  • The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has initiated a call-to-action lobbying campaign.


We’ve seen videos and pictures of motorcycles, cars and all sorts of vehicles roll over the pasty white salt that stick to their tyres and wheel on the Bonneville Salt Flats, on their way to set new speed records.

The ancient dried sea bed has been the site where countless land speed records had been set, usually during the Bonneville Speed Week.

Indian Munro racer going for the record

But the surface has definitely been deteriorating over the last few decades. Experts believe the crust has been dissipating and lost some 50 metric Tonne of salt between 1960 and 1988 alone. It is indeed alarming to compare old and new satellite photos of the site.

Satellite picture of the Salt Flats circa 1970

While it’s somewhat true that the large number of vehicles running on the flats have caused the surface to deteriorate, the biggest contributor to its destruction is brine extraction for table salt production.

The experts had also suggested taking action, but those actions need to be carefully planned, given the fragile environment. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) informed that tests by BLM and a mining company have shown that pumping up to 2 million metric Tonne of brine back on the flats could restore its thickness.

Satellite image of the Salt Flats in 2018

The project needs lots of money and needs the Congress to approve. That is why the AMA is appealing to the American public and speed heads to lobby the government.

While it was racers who raced against time in the past on Bonneville, it is Bonnevilles turn to race against time. Let us hope the AMA and public’s lobbying works out.