Wasatch Environmental Update for June 4, 2017
By John Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of Save Our Canyons
“Last Chance to Save Bonanza Flats!”
The time is short, very short, but perhaps we still have enough time to save Bonanza Flats. That means to save Bonanza Flats from development as a gated luxury resort. Our deadline is just two weeks away on June 15th. The funding gap we need to close is some 3 million dollars. We need to act quickly and decisively.
Here’s why. Bonanza Flats present an awesome gem of alpine meadows spread over 1,350 acres lying just south of Park City and just over the Guardsman Pass above the head of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Until now, these acres have lain undeveloped, but they are now approved for a massive development of 260 multimillion-dollar units.
Park City has already allotted 25 million dollars toward the purchase price of 38 million, and additional pledges have come from Salt Lake City, Wasatch County, the town of Midway and the Utah Reclamation, Mitigation and Conservation Commission, so that the remaining funding gap is only 2.6 million dollars.
Recently the Salt Lake County Council considered a proposal to contribute substantially to the fund. It was argued that the Flats are contributors to the local watershed and that most of the recreation in them comes from Salt Lake County residents, even though they lie outside the county boundaries. The Council agonized a bit, but then voted on a straight party line to reject the proposal.
But let’s not let it rest there, as perhaps they could change one vote and make a sizable contribution. A pledge from the County just might help Utah Open Lands leverage some money from foundations that often work with them.
In order for the County Council to reopen the issue, one of the five Republican council members, those who voted Nay, will have to request it.
Here is where to apply your pressure: If you live in District 2, your representative is Michael Jensen, in District 3, it’s Aimee Winder Newton, in District 5, Steve DeBry, and in District 6, Max Burdick. Otherwise, contact at-large councilman Richard Snelgrove. Find them with email addresses on the county website: slco dot org.
There is no time to lose, so send your note, and then, only then take a drive up and over Guardsman Pass to see what you stand to lose if the developer wins.