Wasatch Environmental Update for August 19, 2018
By John Worlock
“Mountain Accord – Wounded but Still Lively”
Four years ago the long, strenuous negotiations leading to the Mountain Accord came to a celebratory end. Mountain Accord was designed to determine the long-term future of the Central Wasatch Range. The successful end of the negotiations was something of a surprise as the negotiators had had long histories of disagreement over the best use of the marvelous canyons and peaks of the Central Wasatch.
That success was followed nearly two years later by another celebration when Congress was given a bill promising to create the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act, meant to lock the provisions of Mountain Accord in federal legislation. That bill died in committee, but now, two more years later, we have a new inter-governmental organization, the Central Wasatch Commission, working with members of congress on a new but substantially identical bill.
That sounds, and was, hopeful, but now Alta, one of the four Wasatch ski resorts participating in, and agreeing with Mountain Accord, has decided it can’t go along with the land-swap provisions by which it would trade its undeveloped private property in Grizzly Gulch for some valuable public land in and around its base locations.
This is not entirely unexpected, as Alta was always fond of the Grizzly Gulch property and its ski-lift potential. But it threatens the whole agreement, so the current solution is to remove Alta entirely from the legislation and go ahead with the other three land-swaps, as well as the many important ideas for the preservation of the beauty and the wildness of the Wasatch.
We, at Save Our Canyons, would like you to participate in the discussion about the bill that would create the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area. Use our website to learn what we want to see in that act. Then use your browser to put Central Wasatch Commission in the search line. Click on Central Wasatch Commission Board – public notice website. You will find there a treasure trove of information, including minutes of past meetings of the Commission and the current version of the legislation, as it takes shape.
Gorge yourself and learn all you can. Then become part of this important process, making your comments directly to the Central Wasatch Commission.