NEWS: One County now Forbidding Burial on Your Rural Property 

discovered March 2022

Sandpete County Land Use Ordinance was changed to:
"Cemetery/ Crematoriums- A burial place or grounds owned, operated and maintained by a municipality with endowment care feasibility and disallowed for private persons or entities in all Sanpete County zones." 

Good on them for the brevity by which they strip you of your rights.

Bad on them for taking those rights at all.

Word on the street is that the restriction occurred in order to reduce the number of abandoned and mismanaged cemeteries [punisher mentality]. But how about they consider publishing general guidelines as a solution [voluntary mentality].

Model wording for rural burial & history of intended uses of park-like cemeteries


Burial on Your Own Rural Land

One Dispositioner living in a community with a flexible city cemetery wrote,

"Four of us dug his grave and I would highly recommend that because it was a labor of love." 


Utah Law effective 5/13/2014 
8-3-1.  Plats of cemeteries shall be recorded. 

(1)An executive officer of an organization in control of a cemetery, including a municipality or a cemetery maintenance district, or an individual owner in control of a cemetery, offering burial lots for sale in any county, shall file and cause to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county within which the respective cemetery is situated an accurate plat of the cemetery.

(2)The plat required under Subsection (1) shall clearly show:

(a)the sections of burial lots which have been disposed of and the names of the persons owning or holding each burial lot; and

(b)the sections of burial lots held for disposal.

(3)An executive officer or owner shall file additional plats of any addition to a cemetery before offering for sale any burial lots located in the cemetery.

(4)A county recorder may not collect any fee for filing and recording an original plat required under this


Database of rural and non-commercial cemeteries: click on "Find a Cemetery" to start your search for one that will allow simple, vault-free burial.

Simple, Green or Natural Burial

This type of burial allows the body to return to the earth in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition. Great details:

In 1993 the modern idea of green burial really took hold in the UK. Since then the concept has become increasingly popular worldwide.


Common elements:

No embalming

Use a natural casket (or shroud)

No concrete or plastic vault (lid) liner (no lid) encasing the casket

Burial is in an area with native trees, shrubs and flowers, with no man-made additions

Burial is typically 3ft deep for shroud burial (3.5 to 4 ft deep for casket)

Grave markers are those that do not intrude on the landscape

As in all cemeteries, a record is kept of exact location of each burial, typically using global positioning coordinates (GPS)

City Cemetery Plots, a Grave Investment?

Price-gouging is happening amongst city cemeteries in Utah: If you pre-purchase a plot your contract will say "Prices subject to change". City Councils "fundraise" through higher cemetery fees without any notice to plot owners, who only find out AFTER a loved ones dies, that the city thought of a way to 'SELL' THE PLOT AGAIN ...through new higher fees.


We spoke with a family (in 2017) who told us they had to pay $2100 for opening/closing because their deceased loved one (whose plot was purchased by a long ago deceased parent) wasn't a current resident of Bountiful city. The city council later voted for exorbitant fees. City Councils know that families that move away aren't watching how they vote. So they have non-residents by the neck to pay 4x what a resident pays. This seems like extortion.


What's normal?

Orem city, for example in 2022, the amounts are close to each other for opening/closing (aka "internment"):
Residents $635

Non-resident $795 

What's NOT normal?

Kaysville city 

Resident $650

Non-resident $2650

Last we knew (2017), if you move away from Kaysville to be cared for by a loved one, you are no longer considered a resident of Kaysville, despite how many years you paid taxes there. This amounts to basically buying the plot all over again.


Burial at a Veteran's Cemetery

COST FREE: Honorably discharged veterans get free burial at a Veterans National Cemetery.  Free burial often includes the grave, opening and closing, marker, and setting fee. 

Utah State Veterans Cemeteries offer free burial for veterans and spouses too.

More info on veterans benefits at: and also

Utah's Veteran Cemetery & Memorial Park  801-254-9036

requires you purchase the vault (Beesley Monument in Provo is friendly to DIYers)

17111 S Camp Williams Rd

Bluffdale, UT 84065


The"DD 214", is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation or discharge from active-duty military.  This is needed to get burial in a Veteran's cemetery.  If it is lost do not wait until after death to try to obtain one.


2013 Veterans burial benefits chapter here as a PDF


Reservists and National Guard retired personnel with 20 yrs of service are eligible for burial also, as are surviving spouses and dependent children (under rules established by the State of Utah: Just Google "Utah 71-7-3" to read it.


Utah Families can act as their own funeral director when caring for their veteran dead with proper paperwork from the Vital records office. Family may bring their veteran to the cemetery themselves, make their own casket and bypass the mortuary completely. (see our "DIY Funeral" page)

Links to more about Natural Burial

Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial by Mark Harris

The "Danger" That Doesn't Exist

  • Conservation Burial Grounds on YouTube: (start at 1:05)

Conservation Burial Ground vs

the requirements

of typical cemeteries =>

Not hiring a mortuary? ...but need a vault or liner for commercial cemetery burial?

One Utah vault company happily sells directly to DIYers IF YOU ARE NOT HIRING A FUNERAL HOME AT ALL:

Beesley Monument

725 S State St, Provo, UT 84606

(801) 374-0580
Do not ask for this service if you are using a funeral home for any part of your service.

Poly Vaults for sale: 

Robert Alexander 801-388-9158 

$350 each (150lb two-part vault = about 100lbs for the five sided section and 50lbs for the lid).
Poly (PVC) Vaults work just as well as the concrete vaults but can be moved by just 2 people. (Unlike the concrete vaults that need to be put in the ground with a crane.)

FCA of Utah does not receive compensation for products or services featured on this site.

Pleasant Green Cemetery is on the foothills just south of the Great Salt Lake. This natural historic cemetery has NOT been requiring vaults and the Superintendent welcomed family-directed funerals. Now the city has taken over the role so good luck! Please report back as to whether they will continue to honor past consumer friendly practices.




For personal cemetery help and information text/call either

Joyce 801-368-5884 or

Sharlynn 801-391-6556

For a copy of our 2008

Statewide City Cemetery Comparison  

Email: FCAofUtah@gmail

& to volunteer to conduct another survey of Utah cemeteries please email


Online Headstones:

In 2012 one of our members went to affordable-markers website.  They bought a "pet" size marker for $174 which included s&h (in 2012).

Don't take the word "pet"as an insult, it's just 16" long instead of 20"). That size was acceptable at the Pleasant Green cemetery human burial.

Check ahead with your cemetery to see what their rules require.

Environmental Issues with Conventional Burial

Research from the 1990's found:
Each year, over 22,000 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately:

30 million board feet of hardwoods (in caskets)

90,000 tons of steel (in caskets)

14,000 tons of steel (in vaults)

2,700 tons of copper and bronze (in caskets)

1,600,000 tons of reinforced concrete (in vaults)

825,000 US gallons of embalming fluid (include mostly formaldehyde)

Entrance to Cemetery
Poly Vault[1].jpeg
Poly Vault for Sale [2]