Grace Tyler

Grace Tyler

About 1 year ago, the Conservation Alliance approved funding for our Wild Forests and Connected Watersheds Education Program focused around protecting the Wasatch Mountains through the National Conservation and Recreation Area Act proposed legislation that would leave a lasting legacy through the federal protection of 80,000 acres in the Central Wasatch Range. One of the key components of this project was to showcase the land. The Wasatch Mountains are a showy cornicopia of alpine meadows, granite walls, exposed limestone ridges, and lush glens. We partnered with local Utah filmmaker, Everett Fitch to create two videos highlighting the importance of conservation and protecting the wildness and beauty of the Wasatch Mountains.

“Our Canyons Carry Us” features Save Our Canyons Members Erme, Anna and Luka Catino! This short video is a teaser into the world of Save Our Canyons. This video was played on PCTV during June—September.

 “Our Canyons Carry Us” 

This 15 minute documentary explores the generations of dedicated enthusiasts who have helped to protect the Wasatch Mountains. Watch as Save Our Canyons Member Bill and Sylvia Gray discuss the importance of protecting the Wasatch through learning about the wildflowers and birds. Listen to Emanuel, Allison, Milo, Simon Vásquez as they share insight into how this place has influenced their lives as they grow as a family through challenges and intrigue for the macro and micro elements of the Wasatch's ecosystem. And get inspired to act as Save Our Canyons Intern Caroline Weiler and Save Our Canyons Member and Volunteer Elliot Frei shed some light on how they plan to keep impacting the future of the Wasatch Mountains. 

Mini Documentary “Stories Of The Wasatch” 

From everyone at Save Our Canyons we would like to say thank you to: Erme, Anna, Luka, Bill, Sylvia, Emanuel, Allison, Milo, Simon, Caroline and Elliot for volunteering their time to make this project happen

Connecting with the Wasatch Mountains in our own way creates a patchwork of stories lived by the people who advocate for a place they identify with. A long slog up Mount Olympus, a deeply reflective moment in a wildflower laden meadow, or even the stories from a parent or family friend of a cherished time in the Wasatch Range. Sharing these stories helps to protect the beauty and wildness of the Wasatch Mountains. 

From now, all the way through 2021, we want to know your stories! What have you done in the Wasatch? What connects you to this area? What would your Wasatch look like in 10 years? 

After watching the mini documentary “Stories Of The Wasatch” we would like you to share a 30 seconds to one minute video about what the Wasatch means to you. After creating the video post it online to Facebook or Instagram using the #WasatchStory. If you don’t have social media, don’t worry! You can send your video directly to 

 

 

October 26, 2020

Elliott Parkin

Community Development Intern

Amendment D: Municipal Water Resources Amendments

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over." - possibly Mark Twain, but taken as gospel.

Overarchingly, there doesn't really appear to be anything broken with the State Constitution as it pertains to this issue so -- if it ain't broke, why fix it? Further, you should be reminded that this amendment came from the legislature's trio of attacks on extraterritorial jurisdiction, driven by people who are trying to get water to otherwise undevelopable lots in your watershed canyons. That said —

To better understand this Utah Constitutional Amendment, it will help to first understand its primary purpose and function. Simply, it helps to ensure that water owned by municipalities cannot be privatized, or monetized, say, hypothetically, if a municipality is short on cash because it is in the middle of a pandemic, and multiple state of emergencies. The biggest change here is that the amendment removes the term "waterworks" from the things cities could privatize, but continues to prohibit privatization of "water rights or sources of water". 

Further, it would require the municipalities to enact an ordinance to set a service area boundary, if it supplies water outside its jurisdictional boundaries, which about 70 municipalities in the state do. So, should this pass, you can expect SLC, for example, to have a public process to set these boundaries to inform creation of an ordinance. 

It also requires for contracts to be drafted between the municipality and the customer. In Salt Lake County, or in other contracts with Salt Lake City, these contracts are already in existence.

In sum, not much really changes. There's a false narrative being perpetuated that the city could take away your water. In conversations with people who understand water in the state, they are really perplexed as to why this would happen, because the distribution of water is a symbiotic relationship. Customers need water and cities need the customers to maintain the conveyance system, provide and treat the water.

For some, the cautionary principle of unintended consequences when tweaking a portion of our State's Constitution, when it really hasn't been explained effectively why it is broken, harkening back to the opening lines,  with a handful of water speculators driving the change, may give some pause.

All that said, a lot of work went into this and most (but not all) water experts in different arena's feel it does no harm. 

Amendment E: It seems unnecessary and might even thwart the future application of best science in wildlife management and conservation. It would amend the Utah Constitution to guarantee the right of Utah citizens to hunt and fish in perpetuity. It would also make hunting and fishing the “preferred method of managing and controlling wildlife.” We are not against hunting and believe there would never be a successful movement to outlaw hunting here in Utah. We are concerned with hunting being put in an amendment to our constitution as the preferred method of managing wildlife.  

pdfSave Our Canyons’ CWC Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternative Comments 

We throw out the term “protecting public land” a lot, but when was the last time we stepped back and thought about what it means? Does it mean free access to recreate? Does it mean a place for the plants and animals to thrive? Does it mean leaving a legacy the next generation can be proud of? And when we talk about the concept of protecting our public lands, it’s important to discuss how we access them. Are you able to get into your private car in July and drive to an infinitely expanding parking lot within the mountains? Or is your access to the public lands limited because of the transportation system provided?

Currently, in the Central Wasatch, during the months of April to November, you cannot access the Wasatch without a private vehicle because residents throughout the valley do not have access to a year-round public transportation system. If you feel like we have been having the same “transportation solution” discuss on repeat, it’s because we have!

It can sometimes feel like you're spinning your wheels and time to throw in the towel — but you can’t! Right now, we are at the pivoting point in this discussion. Will the transportation solution be: a gondola up LCC, gondola connecting the mighty 7,  a rail system, or a year-round public transportation system? More importantly than mode, and what continues to be ignored in the transportation discussion, is how will transportation drive land use changes in and around the Wasatch? This is perhaps, far and away the most significant impact. Further, why are they being pursued? Luring the Olympics? Facilitate resort expansion? Create new resorts around the Wasatch? Build SkiLink?

As a community passionate, dedicated, and tenacious — we need YOU to hold strong and unite with us around the shared idea of protecting the Wasatch Mountains. Please take sometime to look over our CWC Mountain Transportation System Draft Alternative Comments! 

September 01, 2020

Kennedy Flavin

Fall Policy Intern

June 24, 2020

Donate Today

As a community driven organization, our members guide and direct our work. Join us! Annual memberships are $35 and allow us to continue to advocate loudly for our water, land, recreational access and quality of life that result from a connected and protected Wasatch Mountains. 

The threats to the Wasatch, to our watersheds, to the places that inspire our rapidly growing communities and the generations that will surely follow,  are intense, complex, and need attention. What they need perhaps most of all is unity. We can show unity in a variety of ways by: attending a Save Our Canyons event, attending a public meeting, signing a petition, volunteering with our organization, or writing a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed showing support for protecting the wildness and beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, canyons, and foothills.

What is an Op-Ed and LTE?

An Op-Ed is a relatively short piece of writing 500 to 750 words that appears opposite the editorial page (Op-Ed) in print media. Online sources have Op-Eds too (i.e. The Huffington Post, CNN, Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune, and more).  A letter to the editor (LTE) is shorter than an Op-Ed with about 200 words and typically does not contain as much evidence.

How do you write an Op-Ed and LTE?

Trying to figure out where to start in the Op-Ed or LTE process is often the hardest thing. Writing an LTE should be short and sweet just like taking a hike up Doughnut Falls. Within your LTE make sure you:

  1. State the Topic
  2. Explain why you don’t agree with it, including supporting facts
  3. Tell what you would like to see happen or suggestion
  4. Finish with a reference to the beginning and call to action

An Op-Ed is totally different than an LTE because you have triple the words to prove your point and the writing style is different than most articles. Most Op-Eds follow this kind of structure:

  1. Lede: This is the introduction section of your Op-Ed; it is intended to entice the reader into reading the full story. It is normally the first one or two paragraphs, 3 to 6 sentences in length. It tells the reader the “who, what, when, where” of your topic.
  2. Conclusion: This is the “why” or “why care” part of your Op-Ed. Yes, the conclusion may seem out of place based on writing approaches drilled into you during your education process, but you do need to bring the conclusion more to the front for Op-Eds. It is normally 1 to 2 paragraphs or 2 to 5 sentences in length. In many cases, authors will use a one-sentence paragraph to emphasize a particular aspect of the conclusion to ensure that the reader gives the idea more attention.
  3. Evidence: This is normally 3 to 6 paragraphs in length. The paragraphs, while still short compared to more standard writing styles, are often a bit longer than those from the Lede and Conclusion. This is because you are discussing examples and presenting expert statements that support your Conclusion. Concentrate on policies rather than people. There will be some educational aspect to your Op-Ed; however, be sure to live by the “show, don’t tell” mantra. Also, translate statistics into grounded numbers that can be easily digested by your reader. Avoid using jargon, but if you must use jargon, pause to quickly define—in two short sentences or less—the term and get back to your argument.
  4. Walk-off: This is where you explain how to go forward. All Op-Eds should be forward looking. That is, don’t just explain that there is some problem to which we should find a solution. Offer a possible solution. This is normally 1 to 3 paragraphs or 3 to 6 sentences in length.

Where do you send an Op-Ed/LTE and what’s included?

Letters must include the signature, full name, address, phone number and email address (if available) of the author for verification purposes. Only the name and city will be published.

Salt Lake Tribune

LTE:
Op-Ed:

Deseret News

LTE:
Op-Ed

Sample Op-Ed and LTE

Contact your elected leaders and officials right now by clicking the buttons below. No need to look them up first – this tool will automatically input your legislator’s information and send your email to them directly! 

Tips for writing Utah’s leaders

  • Start the letter or email by letting your representative know you’re a constituent (voter) from their district or state
  • Include any important identities you have. For example, if you’re a small business owner or a healthcare worker let them know. 
  • Make your letter personal and speak from your heart. Let your representative know how you feel and why you care about the issue you’re writing about. Avoid using prewritten messages, they are commonly ignored.
  • Ask a direct question. 
  • Make your letter/email short, informative, respectful, and courteous. 
  • Include your name, address, and phone number to ensure a response.
  • Review your letter to correct any grammar or spelling mistakes.

Commenting on a Congressmember’s social media posts is just as powerful as sending them a letter or email. If that representative gets called out multiple times on the same issue they will pay attention.

 

 

June 22, 2020

Registering To Vote

Utah’s Primary Election: June 30th, 2020

General Election: November 3, 2020

https://voteinfo.utah.gov/learn-about-registering-to-vote/

Registering to vote

Requirements to register

  • A U.S. Citizen;
  • A resident of Utah for at least 30 days before the election; and
  • 18 years old on or before the day of the election.
  • If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can pre-register to vote. If you pre-register, you will automatically be registered to vote when you turn 18 years old.

Mailing ballots

  • Your mail ballot must be postmarked by the Post Office on Election Day, June 30, 2020. You can also drop your ballot off at a drop box location before 8:00 pm on Election Day.

Requirements to vote

-ONE primary valid form of ID that includes your name and photograph

Examples:  

  • Utah driver license
  • ID card issued by the state of Utah or the US Government
  • Utah concealed carry permit
  • US passport
  • Tribal ID card

OR

TWO forms of ID that, when combined, prove your name and current residence.

Examples:

  • Utility bill dated within 90 days of the election
  • Bank or other financial account statement
  • Certified birth certificate
  • Valid Social Security card
  • Check issued by the state or federal government
  • Currently valid Utah hunting or fishing license
  • Currently valid US military ID card
  • Certified naturalization documents (NOT a green card)
  • Certified copy of court records showing the voter’s adoption or name change
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs card
  • Tribal treaty card
  • Medicaid or Medicare or Electronic Benefits Transfer card
  • Currently valid ID card issued by a local government within Utah
  • Currently valid ID card issued by an employer
  • Currently valid ID card issued by a college, university, technical school, or professional school in Utah
  • Current Utah vehicle registration
June 22, 2020

Advocacy Corner

The threats to the Wasatch, to our watersheds, to the places that inspire our rapidly growing communities and the generations that will surely follow,  are intense, complex, and need attention. What they need perhaps most of all is unity. We can show unity in a variety of ways by: attending a Save Our Canyons event, attending a public meeting, signing a petition, volunteering with our organization, or writing a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed showing support for protecting the wildness and beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, canyons, and foothills.