Mountain Accord Seeks to Solve One Wasatch Debate
No one disputes that the Wasatch Mountains are a valuable resource, but the future of how to protect, preserve and best utilize the resources the Wasatch have to offer is the center of much debate. Mountain Accord, a public process bringing together more than 20 organizations and nearly 200 stakeholders, is the latest approach to create a blueprint for the future of the Wasatch. Driven in large part by One Wasatch, the vision to connect seven Wasatch ski resorts, Mountain Accord has brought together a diverse group tasked with trying to map out the future of the Central Wasatch.
In mid-December, convened by a facilitator from the Mountain Accord, representatives from the United States Forest Service, Snowbird, Solitude, Brighton, Alta, Town of Alta, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the Outdoor Industry and Save Our Canyons sat down for the first of four negotiations of what will go down in history as the Cottonwood Canyons Task Force.
Business and economic interests brought a vision for efficient, reliable, convenient and safe transportation connecting Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. Environmental interests prioritized limiting development outside resort boundaries and stopping One Wasatch type visions to exploit the Wasatch. Following seven weeks of negotiations, the Cottonwood Task Force drafted a proposal that supports the idea of a mountain-rail system to connect the region including proposed tunnels between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons and Park City. In conjunction with the transportation plan comes land preservation and environmental restrictions to preserve ridgelines, backcountry areas and over 2,000 acres of current ski-area-owned land in the Cottonwood Canyons, which essentially closes the door on a One Wasatch type vision.
The proposal is part of Phase One of the Mountain Accord Process and, as part of the public process, the proposal is now available for public comment until March 16, 2015.
View the full blueprint document (pdf).
After considering public input received by May 1, 2015, Phase One will culminate with the Executive Board’s decision for a Final Blueprint. The public is encouraged to comment online or by submitting comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to 375 West, 200 South, Ste. 275 SLC, UT 84101.
Schedule of upcoming events
Cottonwood Canyons Scenario Discussion
February 18, 2015, 3 – 5 p.m.
Salt Lake City Library Auditorium
Alta Open House
February 23, 2015, 5 – 7 p.m.
Our Lady of the Snows
Park City Q&A and Open House
February 24, 2015, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Eccles Center for the Performing Arts
Salt Lake Open House
February 25, 2015, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Skyline High School
Wasatch County Community Meeting
February 26, 2015, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Wasatch County Senior Center