Salt Lake County leaders recognized the Wray and Kunkler families on Tuesday "for their open-space legacy, which will benefit the residents of Salt Lake County now and forever in the future," Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon said.

The two families sold their 1,691 acres of land to the county in November for $8.7 million. Now, thanks to the purchase, no matter how much the southwest corner of Salt Lake County grows, at least 4,000 mountainous acres will remain untouched.

The county will combine the Wray and Kunkler families' land with the county-owned 800-acre Yellow Fork Park and another 1,600 acres the Bureau of Land Management owns but will cooperatively manage with the county.

It's enough land to build 1,250 Costcos or 400 Temple Squares.

Brigitta Wray, one of the former land owners, thanked county leaders for preserving the land "not just for all of us but for the children and grandchildren for generations to come.

"It's something that really enhances the whole community and whole area," Wray said. "There is so much pressure to develop, so I really think you did such a good job to buy the land."