Wasatch Environmental Update for April 8, 2014
By John Worlock, Member, SOC Board of Directors
“There’s Only One Wasatch!”
This is a warning! The Central Wasatch Range is under siege!
The leaders of the seven ski resorts in the Central Wasatch, organized by their leader, Ski Utah, have declared that the mountains and the canyons of the Central Wasatch Range are their territory, which they now identify as “One Wasatch.” This reminds us of the American Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all….” but it reads instead as “One Wasatch, indivisible, with downhill skiing for all who can afford the price….”
Last week, Ski Utah gathered the leaders of all seven Central Wasatch ski resorts at a press conference to express and pledge their allegiance to their new idea of “One Wasatch.” One Wasatch is not a celebration of the majesty and the beauty of our mountains and canyons, but represents the commercial idea of the development of mechanized connections, by chair-lift or gondola, knitting the seven Central Wasatch resorts into one mega-resort. The mega-resort could then advertise eighteen thousand acres of skiing with one hundred lifts. It could rival even some of the major complexes in the European Alps.
It is obvious to us that the One Wasatch Ski Resort will be marketed to real-estate developers and out-of-towner skiers, as locals already have their daily choice of ski venues. In fact, there are quite a number of simple interconnections between resorts which do not require the machinery implied by the new “One Wasatch” proposal.
We are opposed to this bad idea. It will further carve up the Wasatch into smaller enclaves of back-country and wild-life freedom, while knitting together the commercial resorts into more tightly held and protected fiefdoms where only the paying public is welcome.
The cute phrase “One Wasatch” perfectly expresses Ski Utah’s ambition to tie the Central Wasatch into a single mega-resort. We propose a counter slogan, which is “There’s Only One Wasatch,” This carries the implication that many of us depend on the Central Wasatch for sustenance. We love the the wildlife, and the beauty, and the solitude and comfort that are offered by the wild country and its wilderness-quality watershed.
Let’s not waste it. There’s Only One Wasatch!