Wasatch Environmental Update for October 12, 2014
By John Worlock, Member, SOC Board of Directors
This is a late wake-up call for lovers of the beauty and the tranquility of the Central Wasatch Mountains. Those foothills, peaks and canyons have stood there, majestically, for much longer than people, including the original human inhabitants, have been here, and will probably be here long after we, the currently burgeoning population, have long vanished.
But let’s not think apocalyptically: Let’s just deal with the next few decades. That will be tough enough.
We are currently engaged in a planning process called Mountain Accord, bringing together a variety of interests to try to map out the future of the Central Wasatch. These interests have organized themselves into groups called Environment, Recreation, Economics and Transportation. Each of them has developed its own schemes for the future of the Central Wasatch. The idea, of course, is to blend those schemes into a consensus and then get on with our lives without further discord.
We of the Environmental Persuasion are deeply interested in the wildness and the beauty of the mountains and find environmental values even more persuasive than recreational. Needless to say, we are also not sympathetic with economic development, and are rather appalled at some of the schemes of the transportation group. They envision a future with rail lines running up into and through the mountains, connecting the Salt Lake Valley with Park City. We cringe at the thought that these special mountains might become a transportation corridor between population centers.
But don’t take our word for it. Take a look for yourself, at mountain accord dot com. Click on get involved and go ahead and get involved by clicking on “idealized systems.” Take your time – at least an hour or so – to study the twelve maps showing current and projected schemes for more fully developed use of the Central Wasatch. We urge you to follow the invitation to comment on these schemes, noting that the deadline for public input is only a few days off. Please keep in mind that any increase in visitation will have an impact on the beauty and wildness of our precious mountains. Expansion of Recreational, Economic and Transportation facilities must be questioned with that simple fact in mind.