April 14, 2021

UDOT GRAMA Request — State Records Committee Win

Save Our Canyons has been trying to obtain public information since Nov. 2020 on the Little Cottonwood EIS from the Utah Dept. of Transportation (UDOT). Access to public records during an EIS is critical as they provide better understanding and aid the public in meaningful participation in the NEPA process. UDOT failed to give any response to numerous outreach attempts, so we elevated our appeal to the State Records Committee. Not having access to this information has significantly harmed SOC’s, our members, and our partners’ engagement in the NEPA process. It is important to note that hiding information from the public is a gross violation of the NEPA process.

This past Thursday, the Records Committee heard our case and unanimously voted to review the records and what SOC deems to be an unlawful protection of public documents relevant to the EIS. This is a small, but significant victory for our community and for the Wasatch, as this process will ensure UDOT can no longer hide information about their EIS from the public and fully respond to SOC’s request for information. While this process continues, SOC is trying to work with UDOT and its legal counsel to uncover communications and details about the intent and interests angling for so-called transportation improvements to Little Cottonwood Canyon. 

Stay tuned as this process progresses, SOC will post a link to all the records, which we should have received in December. UDOT is currently working to publish a Draft EIS which will be available for public review and comment this summer. Cursory review suggests strong support for gondolas and substantial political pressure being placed on agencies, by profiteers at the canyon mouth and headwaters. 

pdfSave Our Canyons Letter to State Records Committee 

pdfSave Our Canyons vs UDOT (2021-08) SRC Hearing