Wasatch Environmental Update for August 12, 2018
By John Worlock
Nordic Valley Project – 2018
Nordic Valley has been, since 1968, a small family-friendly and low-cost ski resort in the Ogden Valley, nestled on the east side of the Wasatch peak that towers above North Ogden. But suddenly we are reading of new management that wants to catapult Nordic Valley onto the national ski resort scene. Their grand plan would expand the skiable acres from the present 140 by a factor of 20 to 2,850 acres. They also plan to offer a 4.3-mile long gondola bringing passengers from North Ogden up to the mountain top and then down to their Ogden Valley base location, in Eden. And no fewer than 14 new lifts all over the north, west, south and east faces of the mountain.
First of all, as you will suppose, Save Our Canyons is opposed to this plan, and expects to be joined in its opposition by several of our sister organizations, such as the Sierra Club. However, we are not particularly worried that it will come to fruition. Previous schemes to expand the ski resort’s operations have withered on the vine, and it has stayed small.
Furthermore, there are immense obstacles to be overcome. Virtually all of the land on which the expansion would take place is public land, administered by the Forest Service, which would have to amend its Forest Plan to accommodate any ski area expansion onto our public land. In addition, that whole area is classified as Inventoried Roadless, so that a whole raft of exceptions would have to be made to create the roads that would be needed to service the infrastructure.
You can study this problem by reading Alex Schmidt’s blog on the SaveOurCanyons website, putting Nordic Valley into the search tab. Perhaps you will also want to read the Ogden Standard Examiner’s coverage. Then for the corporate point of view, go to the new Nordic Valley website at nordicvalleyproject dot com. There you can learn of two open house opportunities, tomorrow and Tuesday, each from 6 to 7:30. Tomorrow at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center and Tuesday at the North Ogden Library.
You will be invited to comment extensively if and when the Forest Service puts this Nordic Valley Project out for review, so stay with it and be ready.