November 17, 2021

Is More Pavement The Only Solution? Millcreek Canyon Project Details

Written by Alex Schmidt

The Wasatch Mountains are just one piece of a much larger puzzle. Growth and climate change have been on a speeding path that has now forced us to develop a strategy for mitigation and management over prevention. For nearly 50 years SOC's tone has remained constant in defense of a simple idea; we can't make more mountains but we can preserve and restore the ones we have. As with the UDOT's Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS, we've been advocating for this organizations mission and perspectives to be reflected in the Millcreek Canyon Enhanced Improvements Projects. We approach our work with a question "what is the goal?" And seek to arrive at and implement the objectives that reach that end. 

You can read Save Our Canyons 12/9/21 comments on this project HERE.

Whether you bike, hike, walk, fish, or picnic in this canyon your voice is important in shaping this process. We should be asking how can we reduce congestion, increase safety and provide opportunity for all people to enjoy these lands while preserving the water, habitat, and ecosystem of this area.

The funding for this project was awarded through the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP). Visit Salt Lake County's webpage for project details HERE

Prior to approval of this FLAP project funding Save Our Canyons provided Salt Lake County, Millcreek City and the US Forest Service with comments regarding their effort to pursue a FLAP grant to make modifications to Millcreek Canyon. "We whole-heartedly support the improvements to drainage and closing of user created parking, but are concerned about accommodating that parking elsewhere in the canyon because it isn’t sustainable. If our collective goal is to continue to have a car based system in the canyon, then we should decide how many cars (and people that arrive in those cars) we want to accommodate rather than converting user created sites into formalized spots, or by enlarging other parking areas. This appears to be yet another instance of trying to resolve issues without having a plan or vision in which we are working toward. We also take issue with deceleration lanes and road-widening projects and believe that safety goals can be better achieved by reducing the number of personal autos rather than investing in additional infrastructure for autos, when transit improvements are recommended by recent plans." Read 1/13/2020 letter to SL County, Millcreek City, and the US Forest Service as a point of reference on this project

Between watchdogging resort development and expansion to mapping user created trails with the Forest Service and working with partner organizations and our members to realize our collective goals for the Wasatch Mountains there is much to do. Our use has a profound effect on the planet. Recreating in these canyons is a pleasure and an opportunity that we cherish and wish to share with any who are interested in enjoying the benefits of time spent in nature. Help Save Our Canyons by submitting your own comments and encouraging others to do the same. 

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