January 27, 2023

Policy and Pikas: LCC Gondola

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We dedicated most of our energy this week to new developments with the Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) gondola proposal for Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC). Let’s recap the latest gondola developments—and how you can make your voice heard—in this week’s edition of Policy & Pikas.


If you’re unfamiliar with UDOT’s proposal to build a gondola up LCC, or if you’d enjoy having a little more context, visit our gondola issue page

After almost five years, eight comment periods, and over 35,000 public comments, UDOT announced the gondola as their preferred alternative to address transportation issues in LCC. Although UDOT released the Final Environmental Impact Statement in August identifying the gondola as their preferred alternative, they’ve not yet issued their final decision (Record of Decision). We expect UDOT to issue the Record of Decision in the coming weeks and after it’s issued, UDOT will need to find funding for whichever alternative they select. 

The Latest Update

The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) held a meeting last Thursday to discuss the Draft 2023-2050 Regional Transportation Plan. 21 voting members make up the WFRC, including representatives from local governments along the Wasatch front, UDOT, and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). Every four years, the council drafts a transportation plan for the Salt Lake and Ogden metropolitan areas. 

On Jan. 26, council members voted to include UDOT’s $1.4 billion gondola proposal in the Draft 2023-2050 Regional Transportation Plan and release it for public comment. They noted that if the Record of Decision is different from the Final Environmental Impact Statement, they will change the plan to reflect the Record of Decision. 

Keeping the gondola in the plan doesn’t ensure funding, but it does make it easier for UDOT to secure funding for the project in the future. 

The public comment period is currently open and ends on February 26.

Take Action

There are two things you can do to help keep the gondola out of the 2023-2050 Regional Transportation Plan.

1. Submit a public comment telling the WFRC to keep the gondola out of the Regional Transportation Plan. 

Submit a Comment HERE

You can use the template below if you're not sure where to start. 

"Dear members of the Wasatch Front Regional Council,

I am a [skier, hiker, climber, concerned citizen, etc. - make it personal!], and I am in opposition to building a gondola up Little Cottonwood Canyon, in reference to the 2023-2050 Draft Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) beginning on page 97.

[Insert your own story/connection to LCC and why you oppose the gondola! See our gondola page (“Why We Oppose the Gondola”) for talking points.]

I encourage you to remove the gondola from the RTP. The gondola will not solve our canyon's traffic issues, can only serve patrons to two ski resorts (despite being paid for by all Utah taxpayers), and will irrevocably damage our sweeping mountain views, world-class recreation opportunities, and our critical watershed. Instead, let's invest our time and money into transportation solutions (like a year-round bus system, with shorter headways in the winter) that can be scaled to other canyons and has a smaller environmental footprint.

Thank you,


2. Identify your WFRC representative(s) below and let them know your concerns about the gondola and the future of LCC. 

(You can use your public comment!)

Pika Fact of the Week: Pikas can overheat when exposed to temperatures as mild as 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

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