Wasatch Environmental Update for August 16, 2015
By John Worlock, Member SOC Board of Directors
“Salt Lake County’s Mountainous Planning District”
For more than four decades, Save Our Canyons has grown stronger in its commitment to its founding idea. We have been –quote- “dedicated to protecting the wildness and the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, canyons and foothills.” –end quote-
We have recently been deeply involved in shaping the outcome of the process called Mountain Accord. We will be involved for some years to come as Mountain Accord’s ideas for the future of the Central Wasatch are put into actuality by the federal congress, the state of Utah, the Forest Service, the city and the county of Salt Lake, plus the four ski resorts in the Cottonwood Canyons. We breathe a sigh of relief, but gird up our loins for the future activities. Stay tuned, as they say, and follow our website saveourcanyons dot org for further developments.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake County has a new proposal for the Central Wasatch Mountains. A look at the map will remind you that Salt Lake County extends up into the canyons and mountains east of the Salt Lake Valley.
Let’s look at the county’s proposal. They want to create a new planning commission, authorized to study planning in a newly created Mountainous Planning District, which reaches up through the important canyons of Mill Creek and both Big and Little Cottonwood Creeks.
From what we have learned, there are no objections to the idea of a new Mountain Planning Commission, but here’s the rub: Who will be the new commissioners?
Salt Lake County would like to create a commission representing the interests of a variety of folks throughout the Salt Lake Valley, those who take their recreation, for example, in the canyons. However, canyon residents and business owners are already campaigning for special representation on any future Mountainous Planning Commissions.
Whose canyons are they, anyhow?
Most of the Central Wasatch is, in fact, the property of the US Forest Service, so the county’s new planning commission will be entrusted to deal only with the small but important remainder.
Let’s get together and support the County Council’s idea that even that small portion of our canyons is important to ALL the residents of the county. We want our voices to be heard on Salt Lake County’s new Mountainous Planning Commission.