Wasatch Environmental Update for October 22, 2014
By John Worlock, Member, SOC Board of Directors
“Wasatch Wilderness by and Honors Student at the U of U”
University of Utah Professors Scott Schumann and Nate Bricker recently hosted SOC Executive Director, Carl Fisher, in an Honors College class at the University. The focus of the course is on outdoor recreation, land management and politics in the context of conservation in the state of Utah. After SOC’s visit, students were given the assignment to take a stand either for or against the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Act. Unanimously, the students’ letters were in support of the legislation. Below is the audio and text from one of the letters written by a student in the class used for the 10/20/13 Wasatch Environmental Update:
10/20/13 Wasatch Wilderness by an Honors Student at the U.
Save Our Canyons Outreach Coordinator Alex Schmidt has been working with Honors students at the University of Utah. Today we will give you some of their thoughts about our campaign for more true Wilderness, as designated in Congressman Matheson’s current bill, HR 2808, the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act.
University student and Arizona resident MD writes to her congressman:
HR 2808 has been introduced into Congress with the aim of designating more land in the Wasatch Mountains as wilderness and special management areas. The act will help protect the Lone Peak, Twin Peaks, and Olympus Peak Wildernesses and incorporate Grandeur Peak as Wilderness.
I believe it is very important to protect these lands. It is important that Wilderness Areas be maintained for recreational use by the Salt Lake community. But it is not just the local Salt Lake people who enjoy the Wasatch Wilderness Areas. I have made many trips to enjoy the unique wilderness that Utah has to offer. While this issue affects Utah the most, there are many Arizonans like myself who enjoy trips to Utah to explore the wilderness.
In particular, there are many people, including myself, who go to Utah for the mountain biking trails. As a mountain biker, I have enjoyed the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and look forward to trying other popular trails in the Wasatch. Since the proposed act ensures that popular mountain biking trails will not be included in the land that will be protected, it is all the more important to protect the land surrounding those trails.
MD goes on to say:
Not only is this bill important because it sets aside wilderness land for recreational purposes, this land also sits above the Wasatch Watershed. The watershed is an essential source of water for the growing population of the Salt Lake area. I believe it is important to ensure that these pristine wilderness areas remain unpolluted by human development.
MD recognizes the competition for water throughout the west, noting that “the Wasatch watershed is important because it is replenished every year by snowmelt. So, by preserving the land, we can ensure a steady supply of water in future years.”
Thanks to Alex Schmidt and Honors Student MD for this testimony.