Wasatch Environmental Update for July 16, 2017
By John Worlock, Member of the Board of Directors of SOC
“Inaugural Meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission”
We apologize for the short notice, but we want you to come to witness the inaugural meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission, scheduled for Monday, July 17 (tomorrow!) in Sandy City Hall. We’ll repeat these details later in this message, so prepare your paper and pencil.
The Central Wasatch Commission is important as it will be charged with carrying out some of the provisions of the visionary plan called the Mountain Accord. Mountain Accord, you may recall, brought to fruition several years of heavy negotiations among diverse stakeholders interested in the future of the Central Wasatch Mountains. Save Our Canyons took a leading role defending conservation, dispersed recreation, wildlife and other environmental issues. Other participants represented ski resorts, canyon transportation, watershed and of course the Forest Service. It is now almost exactly two years since final accord was reached and the official signing ceremony took place.
During those two years, we have seen the introduction into congress of legislation called the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act, which incorporated the ideas of Mountain Accord, and would have created, as its title suggests, a national conservation and recreation area covering the public land in the Central Wasatch Mountains. That legislation got a hearing in committee but expired at the end of the confessional session, and awaits the reintroduction into a new session.
Meanwhile, to carry forward, locally, some of the ambitions of Mountain Accord, we have seen the creation of an interlocal governmental entity called the Central Wasatch Commission, whose members are representatives from Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Sandy City, Cottonwood Heights, Park City and UDOT. These Commissioners will appoint a large and diverse stakeholder council, with representatives from state and local governments, the Forest Service, landowners, ski resorts, and environmental and recreational interests.
This Commission has a lot of support but is not without its detractors and opponents. Since it is important that the Commission begin on a strong note, we urge you to drop everything and head out to Sandy. Tomorrow, Monday July 17. 4 pm in the Community Room of Sandy City Hall, 10,000 Centennial Boulevard. Come and help make history at the inaugural meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission.