Wasatch Environmental Update for February 19, 2017
By John Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of Save Our Canyons
“Salt Lake County’s FCOZ”
This week we are campaigning for activists who will help us support some important current legislation in the Sale Lake County Council. “Boring, boring,” you say. But listen, we are talking about protecting the beauty and the wildness of the canyons in the Central Wasatch. Probably they are your favorite places to seek recreation and solitude. And they need protection NOW!
We’re concerned about the county ordinance called FCOZ, which stands for Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone. For 20 years FCOZ has been helpful in controlling development on county lands in the Central Wasatch, preserving the aesthetic qualities of the canyons, protecting wildlife habitat and prohibiting activities that would impact and degrade soils, slopes and water quality.
Now, right now, the County Council is rewriting FCOZ, and we are alarmed at the prospects for its next decades. Five of the Councilors appear to be leaning toward weakening one or more of its important environmental protections. Specifically the leaners are: At-large Councilman Snelgrove, and the councilors from districts 2, 3, 5 and 6: namely Jensen, Winder-Newton, DeBry and Burdick. (Contact your council member HERE).
We urge you to send messages to any and all of these officials, especially if you live in one of their districts.
Provisions in FCOZ that are currently threatened are these:
One: 100 foot limits to development near streams and wetlands,
Two: Limits of disturbance or the space that can be developed on a lot, already set at a liberal 10,000 sq ft.,
Three: Specific protections for the habitat of wildlife, both fauna and flora, and
Four: Restrictions on the construction of ziplines and coasters.
Probably you will have some difficulty remembering all these details, so let’s recommend that you skate on over to our website, saveourcanyons.org, where you will find stimulating reading about FCOZ and a reminder of the specific current threats to Salt Lake County’s Foothill and Canyons Overlay Zone.
The Wasatch Canyons need your help, NOW!