BY TOM BUSSELBERG
FARMINGTON — Despite complaints of “greenwhashing” from local families, Chevron and Kennecott will continue their sponsorship of the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival this year.
Chevron has already committed $3,000 and Kennecott has announced intentions to continue its support of the 15 year-old festival, said Neka Roundy, festival organizer.
Their sponsorship continues as groups called Utah Student Clean Air Network and Utah Moms for Clean Air both reportedly condemned both firms’ involvement with the festival.
The Clipper was unable to reach anyone with either group. However, Davis County Economic Development director Kent Sulser confirmed the county had received an email from Utah Student Clean Air Network president Carl Ingwell.
Ingwell reportedly called Kennecott and Chevron support “green washing.”
“The student group asked us not to contribute,” said Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett.
“Certainly biodiversity is something that is important to us,” he said. “We’ve made significant investments to preserve wetlands around the Great Salt Lake. We’ve activity engaged with a number of biodiversity groups.”
The firm also operates the multi-thousand acre Great Salt Lake Inland Seashore Bird Reserve on the south side of the lake.
“I think they’re very concerned about their (employee) families who live here, and are concerned about the communities,” said Davis County Commission Chair John Petroff.
For Chevron, that means the families of 90 employees who live in the county, said Chevron spokesman Greg Hardy.
Chevron has contributed to the bird festival since at least 2000, Hardy said.
A feeding area for geese has been set up at the firm’s plant on the Salt Lake/Davis County line. Employees and community groups such as Boy Scout troops have assisted with maintaining that feeding area, Hardy said.
“We greatly value our partners,” Roundy said.