November 26, 2019

Full Comments from UTA Press Conference

Written by

Press Event, Monday 11/25/19

pdfWasatch Planning Maps 

The CWC, UTA, and Partners Increase Ski Bus Service for the 19/20 Ski Season. Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons and member of the Central Wasatch Commission Stakeholders Council commented: 

Ullr and mother nature reward us when we work together in benefit of the environment. Look at all this wonderful snow!

Save Our Canyons works to protect and preserve the Central Wasatch Mountains, and advocates for the land and ecosystems in the Central Wasatch Mountain Range.  Save Our Canyons is pleased to invest and partners with the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC), Ski Areas, UTA, and the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance to help mitigate air pollution and reduce traffic congestion in the Cottonwoods.

This is an important first step and while it isn't a silver bullet, it demonstrates that when we work together, we can get things done.  Absolutely, there is more work to be done here! Better park and rides away from the canyon mouths, better transit connectivity to canyon bus routes, year-round service not just to resorts, but other canyon destinations… just to name a few. 

What is most exciting and encouraging about this partnership to us, is that this is a solution that doesn’t require building anything more in our watersheds. It requires working together, pooling resources and problem solving for one of the most pressured and important landscapes in Utah. 

This is a solution that doesn’t require onerous red-tape or extravagant EISs, we don’t have to order in backhoes or graders. It signals an investment in changing behaviors, a transition from moving cars to moving people, and better utilization of the infrastructure we already have. For over three decades our community, plans, policy makers, and my predecessors have been asking for one thing: increased utilization of buses and improved access to mass transit in our canyons. Today is a small step, but an important one. Now if we could just peel off a few million dollars from road building initiatives and instead invest transit, and expand this service to encompass year-round uses, we could really move the needle on access woes that diminish the visitor experience, both within and adjacent these canyons, be it in the backcountry, adjacent communities or at resorts.

Save Our Canyons believes fewer cars on our canyon roads will be part of the larger solution to the transportation issues in the Cottonwood Canyons, and we are proud to collaborate with the CWC, UTA, and others to help make that a reality with this expansion of the ski bus service for the 19/20 ski season.

I hope our state leaders, particularly in the legislature, will start to realize the importance of acting to advance the conservation measures in the Wasatch which were a critical component of the Accord to mitigate the impact of improved transportation.  Save Our Canyons’ investment and commitment to delivering transit solutions is a show of good faith on behalf of the conservation community, we hope that meaningful actions to protect our watersheds and public lands can stop being attacked by the Utah Legislature. We are serious about earnestly collaborating to resolve longstanding issues in the Wasatch -- we are upholding our end of the Accord and request the State work with us and this coalition to do the same. See you on the slopes byway of the bus!

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