Wasatch Environmental Update for December 4, 2016
By John!Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of Save Our Canyons
“Mountain Accord Marches On”
You may remember the celebration in the summer of last year, when all of the participants in the negotiations signed on to what is known as the Mountain Accord. There were federal and state officials and a variety of environmental, recreational as well as commercial interests. This plan, called Mountain Accord, was designed to replace the piece-meal development of the foothills and canyons with a forward-looking and coherent plan agreed to by all the disparate parties.
In order to put the Mountain Accord’s ideas into actuality, Congressman Chaffetz introduced into Congress a bill that would create in the Central Wasatch a new federal zone, called the Central Wasatch Recreation and Conservation Area. Last month, to our surprise and delight this bill had a friendly hearing in Congressman Bishop’s House Committee, after which he indicated smooth sailing in the House of Representatives. So now we need to have a companion bill in the Senate.
This is where you come in. We need an outpouring of calls and letters to Senators Hatch and Lee, urging them to bring to the Senate a companion bill to HR 5718, the Central Wasatch Conservation and Recreation Area Act. While you are at it, you might as well thank Congressman Bishop for his encouragement and Congressman Chaffetz for sponsoring the bill. Then, of course, it wouldn’t hurt to thank both Representatives Love and Steward for their help in moving the bill forward. That will cover the six-member Congressional delegation from Utah.
We’ll leave it to you, as a grownup, to figure out how to reach your Senators and Representatives. The website saveourcanyons dot org might help you to get organized.
Then, after you have done that, we will want your help in a more local measure designed to make Mountain Accord a reality. Salt Lake County is the sole holdout after Summit County and all of the interested municipalities and have signed on to support the Central Wasatch Commission. This commission, as a governmental entity, as opposed to such non-governmental entities as the collectivity that drew up the Mountain Accord, would have the authority to oversee, for example, the improvements in recreational and transportation infrastructure that are suggested by Mountain Accord.
But that’s the subject of another Wasatch Environmental Update…