Wasatch Environmental Update; Celebrate Mountain Accord

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Wasatch Environmental Update for August 2, 2015

By John Worlock, Member Board of Directors

“Celebrate Mountain Accord!”

Have you been paying attention to what we’ve been telling you about Mountain Accord?

If so, and if you have liked what you’ve heard about Mountain Accord, you are invited to a celebration and a signing ceremony. Tomorrow morning at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, the various stakeholders who have participated in two years of strenuous negotiations, will celebrate their agreement with a signing ceremony. We’ll give you specific details at the end of this message.

You should know that Mountain Accord is a comprehensive plan for the preservation of

the Central Wasatch Mountains and Canyons, with the aim of ensuring their long-term vitality. The Accord calls for specific actions by the signatories. Among them are these:

1. Aggressive pursuit of federal legislation for permanent protection of habitat, watershed and wilderness qualities in over 90,000 acres. This would include a management plan providing for stewardship of trails and climbing opportunities.

2. Facilitation of land exchanges between the ski resorts and the Forest Service to protect backcountry and watershed. Also establishment of a program to work toward acquisition of private inholdings.

3. Initiation of a federal study of environmental impacts of improved year-round transportation into the canyons under the auspices of the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Some form of public transportation is deemed essential in solving the problems of avalanches, automotive traffic jams and overcrowded parking.

4. Strengthening of land-use ordinances at the municipal, county and state levels to protect both watershed and public access. Perhaps you’d like to know more than we can tell you in a few minutes. Here is a pair of websites that will be helpful. The official website for the enterprise is Mountainaccord dot com.

But you can learn even more at our website, saveourcanyons dot org.

Mountain Accord is simply a plan for what might be done if its signers keep working toward its laudable goals, so tomorrow’s celebration is a moment of commitment and a promise of future activity.

Tomorrow morning, August 3rd, at ten am, in the Park and Ride lot at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Come early, as parking is limited, and it’s a bit of a hike from the overflow parking.

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