The Shrinking Salt Flats

Aug 6, 2015

  Thursday, we’re talking about the Bonneville Salt Flats’ rip-roaring past and uncertain future. The vast, white expanse is ideal for driving fast, but thinning salt has forced the cancellation* of this year’s big races. Is mining to blame? Or too much rain? Guest host Matt Canham is joined by photojournalist and writer Landspeed Louise Noeth, geologist Brenda Bowen, and the BLM’s Kevin Oliver to discuss what we can and should be doing about the increasingly endangered salt flats.

*Please note that not all major events are cancelled. The Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, the second largest event on the salt, is still scheduled August 29 - Sept 3. (From Delvene Manning, Owner/Event Manager)


The iconic Bonneville Salt Flats make it a favorite location for filmmakers and racers alike. The vast distance and the stark landscape make the salt into a character itself.

Shunji Yokokawa: Salt Flats World Record

Utah filmmaker Skylar Nielsen and his team at Vita Brevis Films followed racer Shunji Yokokawa and his two man crew to the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was Speed Week of 2013 and Shunji’s first trip ever to the Salt Flats. He came from Japan with one goal in mind: to break the world record. But the new environment – the salt – was a new challenge for the crew to take on.

Watch other films at VideoWest, including these that feature the salt flats: