Alta’s Master Development Plan Project Improvement Projects May 2016

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One of the most important services Save Our Canyons does, is alert our members to notices put out by the Forest Service when someone is proposing a project on National Forest System lands. As many of you are aware, our ski area’s operate on a combination of private land and public lands. The public portions of the land are subject to rules and regulations of the US Forest Service, the terms of the ski area’s special use permit, and the Forest Plan which identifies goal, objectives and direction for management of the resources within its scope. Private lands are governed by ordinances of the most immediate jurisdiction (Salt Lake County for Snowbird, Solitude, and Brighton; Town of Alta for Alta Ski Area), and you can learn more about our efforts to guide responsible development on private lands in the Wasatch by clicking over to our Mountain Resort Zone ordinance here.

The proposed action includes the following 12 projects which Alta would like to implement within the next five years. Save Our Canyons has also created an interactive map showing the project locations. You can also view the USFS scoping notice” by clicking here, where we also invite you to submit a comment to the USFS on this matter. Projects include:

***Albion/Wildcat base parking.
***Tram from Germania Pass to the top of Mt. Baldy.
***GazEx or other equivalent technologies to replace artillery and avalauncher.
Replacement of Albion and Sunnyside lifts.
Replacement of Cecret and Supreme lifts.
Replacement of Wildcat lift.
***Flora lift from bottom of Sugarbowl to the top of Collins lift.
***Supreme terrain work.
Alf’s restaurant building addition.
Watson Shelter building addition.
***Equipment storage facility.
***Lake Flora restoration at the top of Glory Hole.

We at Save Our Canyons, feel many of these proposals are inconsistent (see projects above denoted with *** above) with the Forest Plan’s objectives and goals, and the experience and environment identified within. We’re working quickly to articulate and make citations and arguments to these concerns and will share them when ready. That said, it is critical that you, the person that these lands are being managed for express your concerns – no matter how detailed or brief – after all these are YOUR PUBLIC LANDS! Additionally, it has been some 13 years since Alta underwent a change condition analysis of its MDP, and it is probably time for them to be held to a higher standard of analysis than an Environmental Assessment, we feel these projects and the lapse in time since detailed analysis warrants a full-blown Environmental Impact Statement.

This MPD proposal, is a mixed bag running the gamut of incredulous to benign. You can read some of the reactions to the project in a May 1, 2016 Salt Lake Tribune Article and in a follow-up Salt Lake Tribune Editorial where the editorial board rightfully exclaimed, “Don’t touch a hair on Baldy!”

 

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