Whether or not to protect the public lands administered by the US Forest Service in Summit County has been called into question. Today, there are just over 600 Acres of public land in Summit County along the Big Cottonwood/Park City ridgeline. These parcels are divided into 3 sections (areas in Blue from North to South):
1. Murdock Peak to Desolation Lake (appx 250 acres)
2. Dutch Draw (appx 50 acres)
3. Monitors (appx. 300 acres)
This was apparently discussed last night at the Summit County Council meeting and Vail Resorts is fighting the protection of these areas. Tonight, at 4:45pm Park City will discuss this and other Mountain Accord items and it would be great for a community to be present to talk about the protection of these areas – to counter Vail’s desires to develop them. I believe that Park City is a friend in this effort, but they need to hear from there citizens and organizations on this!
To provide a little context on the areas…
– These have been identified as wildlife corridors and key habitat as well.
– This is what remains of “backcountry” recreation in Summit County.
– The National Forest provides a critical buffer between the ski area development and the core connected landscape of Big Cottonwood.
– Ski Area Expansion or development of these areas will have HUGE impacts on the opposite side of the ridge (think what 9990 did to Bear trap, but from Murdock Peak to Guardsman)
– These areas are today, part of the USFS Roadless Inventory, a special designation that is deserving of additional protection
– These are the lands that border the Wasatch Crest Trail – the State’s premier high alpine bike trail.
– Preservation of Public lands has greater than 90% approval rating in the region
– Not including this appx. 600 acres of public lands will in essence say, they are not worthy of protection and should be considered for resort expansion or other development proposals in the future.
I’m asking for your help in convincing Park City to let Summit County know that these lands are important. These areas are incredibly important to Save Our Canyons and our members. Please help these areas by sending a note to Park City elected officials (ASAP!) and ultimately to the Summit County Council, with whom this decision lies.