Citizens’ Committee to Save Our Canyons
“One Wasatch” Interconnect Newly named Ski Interconnect is dragged out from the crypt of horrible proposals. See pages 4 and 5 for details. Twin Lakes/Twin Lakes Pass in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Howie Garber photo.
Save Our Canyons is an organization of citizen activists “dedicated, since 1972, to protecting the beauty and wildness of Wasatch canyons, mountains, and foothills.” Save Our Canyons is the quarterly publication of the Citizens’ Committee to Save Our Canyons Chairman’s Message.............2 Stepping Aside.......................3 Happy Trails, Havilah........ ..3 There’s Only One Wasatch...4 Local Skier’s Response to One Wasatch.......................4 “ONE WASATCH” One Horrible Plan .............5 Resorts/Climate Change .....6 Lone Peak Celebration..........8 Businesses/Volunteers........10 SOCK program’s walk ........11 Good, Bad, Ugly ..................12 State of the Rockies Report.14 Bishop’s Hypocricy..............14 A Mountain Accord ............15 ALEXIS KELNER Perennial Editor GALE DICK Associate Perennial Editor
“Th It er b e Se elo is O rv ng N ic s t LY ei o n all on th o e W e fr be f us as ag li . at m ef Sa ch en th ve . ta at O It t d of ion the ur C oe s th of k a s n e C th i in ny ot en e p du ons bel tr re str is on al ci y a g W ou sh lig to as s b ou ne th at a ld d e ch ck n w Ut .” co ot ith ah un m th s tr ak e ki y e U in fu S F du rt o st he re ry r st .
SOC Founders Honored at Lone Peak Wilderness Celebration Changing something that works is always hard. SOC founders Gale Dick and Alexis Kelner stepped off the Board on April 26 at the annual Lone Peak Wilderness Celebration to become members of SOC’s Honorary Committee. No fewer than five standing ovations were delivered by the 250 attendees that night celebrating the legacy of these two individuals. Gale said the greatest thing about running this organization for the past 42 years are the friends he has met and the fun he has had. Alexis thanked his wife Karla for her forbearance in having their home used as a campaign headquarters, and demonstrated his quick wit by offering to teach a future activist how to use the 1950s vintage printing press that he and Karla purchased for use by SOC. The press proved exceptionally useful for production of SOC flyers, notices, and newsletters during the first fifteen years of SOC activities. Many attendees that night were well prepared for this change in SOC leadership, but it was still sad to see these two passionately talented and committed individuals passing the joys and the burden of protecting the Wasatch to a new generation. Like windswept limber pines, Save Our Canyons has been holding the ridgelines of the Wasatch in place for the past 42 years. The organization’s Staff and Board of Trustees have been busy nurturing the sapling pines to keep things intact for the next 42 years. We recently completed a yearlong strategic planning effort preparing for the “succession” as well as understanding the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Our goal is to grow even more effective in order to match the ever-increasing pressures facing the Wasatch. SOC’s strengths include our extremely dedicated and talented cadre of staff, volunteers, and members. We also have a clear and focused mission and set of priorities that are broadly shared and valued
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within our community. SOC’s challenges include maintaining and institutionalizing the core values established by our founders, and structuring ourselves so that we continue to grow and adapt to the pressures that lie ahead. We intend to diversify our conservation strategies, increase our funding, and ensure the people in our community understand the many critical roles the Wasatch plays in each of our lives. Change is also an opportunity. We are fortunate to have been able to plan for our future growth alongside our organization’s founders. We know who we are, we know where we want to go, and most importantly we know what we want the Wasatch to look like 100 years from now. What we realize as we look forward is that we need to do more, we need to do it better, and we need the support of our friends. We need to reach out within our community to increase support for the protection of the Wasatch. This broad network of support will not only lead to more land protection, but will lead to a stronger community of people who will be more capable of handling future challenges. Nobody can surpass the individual contributions that Gale and Alexis have made in their lifetimes toward the cause of protecting the Wasatch. Fortunately though, we can all finish the great work they began by harnessing the collective power of our community permanently to enshrine the Central Wasatch in its proper place as the community’s most valuable asset. We might not need to know how to use Alexis’ printing press, but we will definitely want to have fun and make new friends as we carry this good work forward. –– Gavin Noyes Gale Dick, left, and Alexis Kelner Photo by: Brandon Cruz
Stepping Aside By Gale Dick. SOC cofounder After 42 years of participation in Save Our Canyons, it’s time for me to step aside as a board member and, since the mid-nineties, as president, Age and health problems eventually begin to take their toll. As long as I can do so, I shall participate in the work of Save Our Canyons and serve on advisory committees. Since Alexis Kelner, Floyd Sweat and I started the organization in 1972 there has been a steady and heartening growth in the effectiveness, the accomplishments and the influence of SOC. Anyone who has participated in the ongoing growth of the environmental movement of this and the last century knows that the success of any group depends on the contributions of many individuals over a long period of time. Save Our Canyons is what it has become because of the work of people who have been willing to serve as trustees, a series of executive directors and staff, many hundreds of volunteers who helped with mailings, answered questions at our tables at farmers markets and street fairs, on trail repair and highway cleanup crews. The volunteers have helped put on our fund raising events and led hikes. They have alerted us to opportunities and unrecognized problems. We have been blessed with a long series of student interns who have done remarkable work on Wasatch issues. None of these would have been possible without our membership and our donors. I am proud of our collective successes and hope for
many more. SOC has spent a good deal of time in the past year revising the manner in which the organization operates. I am convinced that we have made a sound plan for leadership succession, for better distribution of tasks, for increased financial health and effectiveness. I have great confidence in Carl Fisher, our remarkable Executive Director, and his staff. Playing a role in Save Our Canyons has been for me a great adventure and education. I am glad to see a new generation of environmental activists who are better prepared than we were in 1972. I frequently realize that one of the great pleasures of working on land use issues is the group of like-minded people one gets to know. I also am confident that working to “protect the beauty and wildness of the Wasatch canyons, mountains and foothills” will be rewarded with many successes since this aspiration is, as repeated polls and surveys have shown, shared by an overwhelming majority of the people living around this wonderful mountain range. We and our sister organizations represent these people. A legacy reminder to future Save Our Canyons activists: In the past 42 years, despite their frequent puffery, the ski industry’s contribution to Utah’s gross state product has hovered around 1%. Check this annually. Climate change may very well diminish this contribution. q
North, To Alaska – Happy Trails, Havilah!– By Carl Fisher
When Havilah Mills started working with SOC in 2008, she was immediately immersed in the planning of Lone Peak, our annual fundraising gala. Over the years, this event came to be the cornerstone of her work with SOC. So when she told us that not only would this Lone Peak Celebration be her last, but also that it would be her last day, it seemed truly fitting. Havilah is a person you want on your team. Reliable, dedicated, smart, funny, with a sometimes painful attention to detail. Planning events and parties, working with members and volunteers, helping to run our small office, preparing mailings, making signs for rallies. In a small office like ours you tend to be a jack of all trades. She is passionate about the Wasatch, usually rolling into the office on her bike, after
either going for a morning hike or ride in the Wasatch. While working at SOC, she also ran a green clothing company; she served on the Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory Board, and developed a passion for baking. For now, she’s headed up to Alaska to lead bike tours, a change of pace and place. Whatever she does we know she’ll be successful at it. We all wish her the best, and while we will all miss her around the Wasatch, we find comfort in knowing that wherever she goes and what ever she does, her jovial personality, quirky sense of humor and lust for life will continue to drive her towards success and happiness. Thank you, Havilah for all that you helped SOC to accomplish!
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
There’s Only One Wasatch! John Worlock’s March 23 KRCL Wasatch Environmentsl Update This is a warning! The Central Wasatch Range is under siege! The governors of the seven ski resorts in the Central Wasatch, organized in concert by their leader, Ski Utah, have declared that the Central Wasatch is their territory, which they now identify as “One Wasatch.” This reminds us of the American Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all....” but it reads instead as “One Wasatch, indivisible, with downhill skiing for all....” Last week, Ski Utah gathered the leaders of all seven Central Wasatch ski resorts at a press conference to express and pledge their allegiance to their new idea of “One Wasatch.” “One Wasatch” is not a celebration of the majesty and the beauty of our mountains and canyons, but is instead the commercial idea of the development of mechanized connections, by chair-lift or gondola, knitting the seven Central Wasatch resorts into one mega-resort. The mega-resort could advertise eighteen thousand acres of skiing with one hundred lifts, thereby entering into competition with Colorado’s and California’s resorts. This mega-resort, “One Wasatch,” would rival even
some of the major complexes in the European Alps. It is obvious to us that the “One Wasatch” Ski Resort will be marketed to out-of-towners, as locals already have their daily choice of ski venues. In fact, there are quite a number of simple interconnections between resorts which do not require the machinery implied by the new “One Wasatch” proposal. We are opposed to this bad idea. It will further carve up the Wasatch into smaller enclaves of back-country freedom, while knitting together the commercial resorts into more tightly held and protected fiefdoms where only the paying public is welcome. The cute phrase “One Wasatch” expresses Ski Utah’s ambition to tie the Central Wasatch into a single mega-resort. We propose a counter slogan, which is “There’s Only One Wasatch,” This carries the implication that many of us depend on the Central Wasatch for sustenance. We love the wildlife, and the beauty, and the solitude and comfort that are offered by its Wildernesses and its wilderness-quality watershed. Let’s not waste it.
One Local Skier’s Response to “One Wasatch” Proposal By Paul Broadhurst Shortly after the press conference announcing the proposed “One Wasatch” interconnect of all seven resorts, we got a thoughtful note from a local skier. He and the Salt Lake Tribune have granted permission for us to excerpt some of his questions and comments. They (the “One Wasatch” promoters) are providing a solution for something that the Utah public hasn’t been aware was a problem. Are people avoiding skiing or vacationing in Utah because there weren’t enough ski lifts, or because all of the central Wasatch ski resorts aren’t linked together? Are there recreational skiers that aren’t satisfied with current combo passes available to ski Alta+Snowbird, and Solitude+Brighton? Is there a tourist that isn’t coming to Utah because they wanted to ski from Deer Valley to Snowbird in a day? If so, they can. Ski Utah already offers an interconnect ski tour between these same seven resorts and from available numbers, reviews, and feedback online it doesn’t look like this is a huge demand. Do these ski resorts really think that they are missing out on business from people who want to be able to ski between all seven ski resorts in one day? If so, collaborate on a central Wasatch ski pass, and just allow all access to visitors to be able
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to ski any resort at any time that they choose over a time period. The customer will figure out what’s best for their needs using the current resorts opportunities during the vacation time that they have. I would challenge Ski Utah and the Utah Office of Tourism to commission a large study and/or survey of prospective tourists or former Utah visitors to speak candidly about why they choose other locales to spend their dollars and vacations. From personal experience and first hand discussions with others the main reasons that people choose not to visit Utah have nothing to do with the snow or amount of available ski lifts; but is due to the lack of on-mountain activities, slopeside lodging, lack of afterhours on-mountain nightlife, liquor laws, Sunday business hours/closures, and in the words of one friend from Colorado, “because the State shuts down at 4pm.” In Colorado where the skier visits outnumber Utah 3:1, many resorts are not www.saveourcanyons.org
geographically close to one another and involve a 23+ hour drive from the Denver airport. If more than three times the tourists are willing to do that on their vacation, then I think accessibility and logistics are not their top priority when making their choice. Every time one of these ski area connection proposals is announced it is distracting from the true facts and driven by corporations that want to create a marketing opportunity for the biggest and best mega resort. This will be done at the expense of the local watershed, non-
ski area recreational pursuits, and resident wishes, as have been loudly spoken every single time one of these expansions is proposed. The true concerns of skier visits and traffic impact are not being addressed or worked on based on factual data. I would strongly encourage Utah citizens to speak for themselves and not allow a ski area alliance, including corporations based in other states and countries, from making decisions that impact your lives. ----Paul Broadhurst
–One Horrible Plan for the Central Wasatch Mountains– By Carl Fisher, Executive Director Two months ago the Utah Ski Industry held a media event in which they kicked off a campaign for “One Wasatch.” “One Wasatch.” A name brilliantly chosen for advertising to skiers worldwide. They want to offer One mega-ski-resort with the name of “One Wasatch.” So, what is the problem? What is “One Wasatch?” To find out you might go to their website, but please read on: we’ll spare you the sales pitch. “One Wasatch” is a concept driven by Ski Utah, supported by all seven Central Wasatch Resorts. Their goal is to connect all seven resorts with three or more mechanized lifts, over the tops of the iconic Wasatch ridges, and then to offer one pass to ski all seven resorts. They would offer 18,000 acres of skiing, 100 lifts, 750 runs, which sounds like good advertising copy. They probably will not advertise the fact that the Wasatch will not be “One Wasatch” for snowboarders, as 2 of the 7 resorts will continue to be for skiers only. One thing that Ski Utah and the resorts got right is that there is only one Wasatch. We only have One: One Watershed, One Wasatch for year round recreation; One Viewshed, One Wasatch for a growing population of nearly 2 million people; One Wasatch, One Environment for wildlife and solitude. And since we only have One Wasatch, we need to share it. The Ski Industry’s “One Wasatch” proposal fails to recognize that and represents the defacto expansion of the seven Wasatch ski areas. Ski area expansion on public land is prohibited by the Forest Service’s Resource Management Plan, but Ski Utah is hoping to align all the interconnecting lifts on private land. While it might be possible to build the lifts on private land, the terrain their out-of town clients will be skiing on will surely encompass public lands. But since alignments are “to be determined,” there is no way of knowing exactly how much. It is ironic that while describing the need for interconnect, Ski Utah President, Nathan Rafferty, talked about how he skied from Park City Mountain Resort’s Legacy Lodge at 9:30am last weekend, skied through the backcountry to Snowbird, and was back to Park City by lunch (1:30pm). What a wonderful
experience! It’s available already to any and all. So, much of the touted interconnect already exists. The interconnected ski resorts only need to agree on sharing the proceeds from the interconnect ski passes. They can begin selling that experience without building any more lifts, or lodges, or condos, or restaurants. It’s available, now. From its inception, and even before that, we at Save Our Canyons have been deeply involved in the important process called Mountain Accord. It is an ongoing attempt to balance all of the needs and wishes of the various users and beneficiaries of the Central Wasatch Range both Front and Back. We have been pleased that the ski resorts, and Ski Utah, have joined us in that effort. One of our hopes was that Mountain Accord might develop schemes to get the resorts the clients they want, perhaps by improvements in transportation. But what was revealed at their recent press conference was that they want both: enhanced transportation and interconnecting skilifts. This is too much! The Central Wasatch Range is too important to be sacrificed in a marketing ploy by the ski industry. We hope that you’ll get engaged with us, bring your friends and join Save Our Canyons in our campaign to stop this latest scheme for ski area interconnect. It was a bad idea 30 years ago, and a bad idea 20 years ago, and it gets worse as the mountains fill up with their devotees. There is Only One Wasatch! Let’s fight to proect it! Here’s what you can do: visit the website www. tinyurl.com/qzasrql, and sign our petition Stop Interconnect and “One Wasatch.” Then go to www. mountainaccord.com and make a comment on how “One Wasatch” is antithetical to the Mountain Accord process.q
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
Canyons Resort Taking on the Impacts of Climate Change with Real Efforts and Solutions Interview With Mike Goar, Vice President and General Manager, Canyons Resort Interviewer: Gayle Parry Q. Do you believe in climate change? If so, how is climate change affecting your business now and in the future? A: Yes, climate change is real. But the serious work we’re doing here at Canyons, and quite frankly, across all of Vail Resorts, to reduce our energy consumption is not a reaction to climate change or an attempt to fight it to ‘save snow’ but rather a long-term investment in the environment and sustainability. Yes, it’s important to continue to chip away at our carbon footprint, but all of our many programs, systems and efforts that we approach with strategy and analytics - they are adding up to make a difference with regard to energy efficiency and waste reduction. We’re taking the real world impacts of climate change by strategically addressing them not just with words but with real efforts and solutions, all overseen by our environmental manager, and that impacts a huge combined population of guests, employees and local residents, the environment and our profitability. Through the National Ski Areas Association Climate Challenge, we were one of eight resorts that participated in the voluntary program in its inaugural year. The data collection was gathered over the calendar year of 2011 from all facilities that were owned and operated by Canyons, including lodging facilities, on-mountain facilities, lifts and snowmaking operations. As a result of the data collected, we now have a baseline detailing our current carbon emissions levels, goals for the future, tactics and timelines to reach the goals. Q. What are you doing now or plan to do to mitigate its effects if any? A. Running a ski resort uses a lot of energy. But it is also why we are uniquely able to reduce consumption in the areas of facilities, snowmaking, grooming, lifts, and food and beverage. As a member of NSAA’S (National Ski Areas Association) Sustainable Slopes Program, Canyons annually applies for sustainability grants to advance programs that address climate change. In May 2012, Canyons was awarded a grant to install solar panels on the Tombstone Ski Patrol hut. The energy savings is 2,200 kWh of electricity per year or 1.5 tons of carbon. In addition, in 2013, NSAA awarded Canyons with an in- service grant for a complete energy audit completed by Brendle Group. Brendle Group compiled a complete energy portfolio, which will help Canyons to identify areas of opportunity for reduction. Canyons has been carefully monitoring its power use since 2011. Once the baseline mentioned above was established, specific reduction targets were set
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for a reduction of 3 percent annually. Through simple awareness, education, and conservation efforts, we have realized reductions in the following areas: Unleaded fuel reduced by 19 percent; diesel reduced by 14 percent; propane by 25 percent; natural gas reduced by 2 percent, and electricity use reduced by 1 percent. As a member of Vail Resorts, we will also roll up in the company’s goal of a 10 percent reduction of power use by 2020 as part of “Vail’s Next 10”. This can be accomplished through reassessing operational efficiencies, examining ways to improve snowmaking, increasing building automation, investing in free cooling and LED lighting upgrades, and implementing additional energy efficient technologies. The working relationship between Canyons and the local utility company, Rocky Mountain Power, has allowed us to run the resort as efficiently as possible and capitalize on RMP’s incentive programs. RMP provides a number of incentive programs for reducing our power consumption. The resort has utilized this opportunity by performing energy audits of all resort facilities including chairlifts, snowmaking facilities, lodging and offices. Our most notable achievements have been in our snowmaking operations as a result of installing energy efficient snowmaking guns, variable frequency drives on motors, and cooling towers. Canyons also addressed the heat loss that was occurring in the lift operation houses by installing automated heater control. In 2012, canyons converted the entire fleet of snowmobiles to 100 percent, 4-stroke snowmobiles. Canyons was the first ski resort in Utah to have their entire fleet consist of 4-stroke vehicles. Canyons adopted a No Idling Policy in 2010. The objective was to provide cleaner air for our guests and guides, leading to an enhanced experience and resulting in a reduction in fuel use and costs. Recycling efforts advanced in 2007 with the investment in a cardboard baler for the Grand Summit Hotel. From this impetus, Canyons has drastically reduced trash pickups and lowered fuel usage and costs. As of January, 2014, Canyons has implemented recycling programs in all village and on-mountain lodging and dining facilities, at all lifts and in all backof-the-house areas. Guests use blue recycling containers in their room for glass, metals, plastic, cardboard and paper. In the summer of 2013, Canyons implemented a composting program for all base area restaurants, banquet facilities, and on-mountain restaurants. In seven months’ time we have diverted over 30 tons of material that would have otherwise gone to the landfill or 20 metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. As of 2014, Canyons is diverting almost 40 percent of its waste from the landfill through composting or recycling but the resort has established a company goal of diverting www.saveourcanyons.org
over 45 percent. The Canyons Food and Beverage Team has made great efforts to reduce their amount of waste and they have become a leader in the community by demonstrating the importance of buying locally. Examples include our relationship with Summit County Beef, which sources meat from our local ranching community. Our award-winning restaurant, The Farm, has a goal of being the first Zero Waste Restaurant in Utah and sources the majority of its products from sustainable, regional farms. Canyons is committed to being responsible stewards of the land on which the ski resort operates. One of the areas that we focus on is the overall health of the forest within the resort boundary. With the assistance of the Wasatch Cache National Forest and local forest ecologists, we have trained staff to identify signs of disease and indicators of beetle infestation. The sawyers employed by the resort, work diligently to thin out areas of overgrowth, contributing to the longterm health of the forest.
Q. Do you have any plans for educating the public on climate change? What groups would you target?
A. Our objective is for Canyons to be best in class and we can only succeed by ensuring the long-term, year-rounds viability of the mountain and local businesses. Our winter business remains strong, and the multiple strategies engaged by Vail Resorts are ensuring successful results year over year. Our pursuit of bringing online more year-round activity across all Vail Resorts mountains is to bring more people into the outdoors, educate them on their favorite forests, and make a strong dent in non-winter season losses.
A..Canyons is strategically focused on our social responsibility to people, our impact on the planet, and our success as a Park City business. We work to integrate sustainability into business decisions, company culture, businesses, development, employee development, daily operations, and education by way of guest interactions. There is so much potential in our leadership in this space of sustainability education, because of our ability to affect the behavior of all of our hundreds of thousands of national and international guests who visit us on an annual basis that when they return to their hometowns, they are bringing newlylearned best practices from Canyons, Among the many exciting possibilities of Canyons now being a part of the Vail Resorts family is that Vail Resorts has a tremendous communications vehicle for all of its sustainability programs under the Vail Resorts Echo banner- they are sharing so many stories of ‘commitment that resonates with guests ,employees and members of their local communities. Canyons has been a partner and supporter to countless non-profits in the community. Partnerships have included Recycle Utah, Summit Land Conservancy, Mountain Trails Foundation, Basin Recreation and many other land and conservation entities. I’m also looking forward to Canyons being a part of the annual surveys Vail Resorts conducts across all of its resorts and divisions. It asks its 18,000 employees, ‘Do you believe Vail Resorts is a sustainable company, and do you understand your role in supporting the company’s sustainability efforts? Eighty-five percent of employees company-wide last year answered, ‘yes.’ q
Q. Can you see your resort installing solar or wind power within the resort?
Mike Goar has read and approved this transcript of Gayle Parry’s interview with him.
Q. Do you think diversification and year-round recreation will compensate enough for lost winter business?
A. On-site renewable projects are being explored but today, energy efficiencies, and reducing consumption are our current focus and making great impact. Canyons has been a participant in the Rocky Mountain Blue Sky Program. This program allows companies to purchase alternative energy through their power provider. We offset 15 percent of our annual power use with wind power purchases. The funding goes directly to the wind farm and research of alternative energy in the intermountain west. This interview by Gayle Parry is the second installment in a series of articles dealing with local Wasatch ski area managers’ activities in dealing with global warming. Future articles will feature our local resorts in their fight to keep you skiing and boarding the white stuff. Gayle is a Trustee of Save Our Canyons, a position she has held for 15 years. Photo by Brandon Cruz
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
Several hundred enthusiastic Save Our Canyons members and guests p
2014 Lone Peak Wild
Thank you to all those who attended our support we were able to raise a conside work to protect and preserve the wildnes canyons an Special thanks goes to the volunteers pleasure t Great food, live music by the Lake Mary our best fund raising event yet! Please businesses and restauran
Save Our Canyons,
participated in the 14th Annual Lone Peak Wilderness celebration.
r 2014 Lone Peak Celebration! With your erable amount of money to continue our ss and beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, nd foothills. s who helped make this social event a to attend. y band, libations and mingling made this be sure to check out and patronize the nts that support our work.
y Brandon Cruz
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014â€ƒ
Many Businesses Supported the Lone Peak Celebration We could not operate SOC without the participation of local businesses and individuals. Many thanks to these great members of the community. 2nd Tracks Airblaster Alexis and Karla Kelner Alpine Art Alta Lodge American Rec Arbor Plus Tree Service Ancestry.com Bacchus Event Services Bohemian Brewery Bikram Yoga Black Diamond Bondi Band Brandon Cruz Photography By Proxy Co. Caffe Molise Camelbak Canella’s Carlucci’s Bakery Castle Peak Yurt Chiropractic Works of Park City Chums City Cakes and Cafe Coalatree Organics Crazy Creek Products Deep Frog Photography Eagle’s Nest Outfitters Epic Brewing Company Frank Granato Importing Frida Bistro Rico Brand G Brad Lewis Photo Grand Trunk Great Basin Chiropractic
Gregory Mountain Products Grow Designs Grow Wild Nursery Hansen Co. Jewelry Health 2 Go! High West Distillery Huddart Floral IME Knead A Massage Kuhl Liberty Heights Fresh Log Haven MacNichol Guitars Mamachari Kombucha Martine Mazza Middle Eastern Cuisine Meals that Transform by Angela Martindale Moab Jett Moki Pottery Mountain Miners Landscaping Mountain Smith Nick Short Photography Publik Nikwax Orson Gygi Osprey Packs Inc Outdoor Research Patagonia Outlet SLC Powderwhore Productions Powerpot prAna Publik Coffee Roaster
Ramp Sports Redwood Creek Wines Rock and Ice magazine Rossignol Salt Cycles Sherpa Signed and Numbered Splitboard Education Collective Sprouts Market Sugarpost Metal Art Sundance Resort Super Top Secret Teton Sports The Beer Nut The Clymb The Dodo Restaurant The Front Climbing Club The Tin Angel Tony Caputo’s Deli Trader Joes University Guest House Utah Mountain Adventures Utah Moutain Education and Development Utah Symphony / Utah Opera Voile Wanderlust Images Wasatch Tours Publishing Wild Rooster Artworks Pottery William Gray Xeriscape Design Xmission
Numerous Volunteers Made the Event the Success that it Was Shelly Reynolds Rachael Fisher Bill Dunn Sarah Jones Josh Scheuerman Chris Fraizer Sumie Edwards Bunny Sterin
10 Save Our Canyons,
Mike Eichorn Mike Peterson Andrew Scarcella Berlin Jespersen Kelsey Oliver Steve Sleater Jena Schmidt Tiana Birrell
DJ Moody Greg Jones Alex Pastucha Jessica Maddox Erin Pastucha Nelson Powers Alex Porpora Jennifer Kecor
SOCK Program Takes a Wasatch Walk By Berlin Jesperson, student Westminster College Place has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe it’s the Wasatch. After walking with them and explaining because I just got done with some classes focusing on to them all about our natural environment and how place and being in the moment, but I think it’s more than we are so lucky to be so close to it, you could see them that. I grew up here in Salt Lake, right in the Central becoming more interested with each step. By the time Wasatch. The Wasatch Range has been a part of me my we reached the river the kids were so engaged, they whole life. Since volunteering with SOC I have been finally put their music away and were playing in the able to recognize so many more different connections water all together. There is something about wilderness between our community that tied us all together in and the natural world. that moment, at that place. Communities are very By truly understanding much connected to their the place we live in, we surrounding natural become so much more environments, whether connected and invested. the individual chooses to Seeing that realization recognize that or not; I’m from the kids on our hike not sure our community with the SOCK program could even survive without made me so happy. We the Wasatch Range. So have the ability to show much of what we do people, to teach people here is dependent on the where we are and why Wasatch, from something it’s important. We are so as fundamental as drinking lucky here in Utah and to water, to the place where be able to visit protected we make our fondest Wilderness areas where memories. I believe that if we can learn about our Berlin Jesperson people begin to understand interconnectedness with this, a greater appreciation the non-human world. It for the Wasatch will surface. becomes clear that Wasatch Wilderness legislation is After taking some youth out from the Sorenson Unity crucial for this particular embattled area. Those kids Center located in West Valley up to Big Cottonwood came to realize this is something I will never forget, Canyon with the other SOCK (Save Our Canyons Kids) and one of the many reasons I am so appreciative of volunteer, Kelsey, I learned so much. The majority of designated Wilderness areas. Our community truly is the kids we took with us had never been up to the an amazing place, I mean we’re in Utah and, after all: mountains; they didn’t even know they were called This is the Place. q
PUT THIS “MUST DO” EVENT ON YOUR CALENDAR Come learn about the values, the lore, and the hope of increased recognition for Utah’s rich Native American history.
“Native American Perspectives of the Wasatch” A hike with Forrest Cuch, Ute Tribal Member Call SOC to register, number of participants might be limited. Sunday, September 21st 10 AM - Noon Contact: Info@saveourcanyons.org
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
Left: Rock Canyon cliffs will be undisturbed. Above: The “Utah Way” of managing state and federal public lands. Right: Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly GOOD. For more Utahns than you might expect, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell brings a refreshing voice to this office. The Department of the Interior affects Utah very directly and citizens of our state watch nervously when a new secretary is being named. Think of former secretaries James G. Watt and Gale Norton to realize how bad it can get. Sally Jewell brought a sigh of relief from many of these Utah citizens who welcome and approve of federal jurisdiction of federal public lands in the state. (See the article on western state citizen support for public lands on a recent Colorado College study on page 14). Jewell also has objected to Rep. Rob Bishop’s efforts to rein in presidential use of the Antiquities Act. (See Carl Fisher’s OP ED views on page 14). Pres. Obama has used Antiquity Act provisions sparingly and there appears to be growing satisfaction with Grand Staircase National Monument.
other agencies (e.g. the US Forest Service) or state governments. Even though HB160 contains some of the stirring language of the 1964 congressional act, it was clearly designed to wrest control of wilderness areas from the federal government and substitute a “Utah Way” to manage such areas. Rep. Mike Noel (RKanab) supported the bill. Need you know more? UGLY. Hissy fits have been on public display between CEOs of Park City Mountain Resort and Vail Resorts. John Cumming from Powder Corporation, PCMR’s parent company, blasted away at Rob Katz, Vail CEO, writing: “Your letters are part of a transparent plan to pressure me and my company into agreeing to a Vail takeover” of Park City Resort. He went on to say “it will never happen.” Katz retorted that PCMR was “causing unnecessary alarm in the community.” It’s all connected to a lawsuit concerning whether or not PCMR renewed its lease on land owned by Talisker Corporation on time. Is this the harmonious sweetness that is needed for One Wasatch to succeed?
GOOD. After 15 years of conflict and removal of rock by private owners, Provo’s Rock Canyon has been purchased by the city and public access to this very popular wild amenity is assured. Congratulations to all who brought about this happy ending to the story. Snowbird’s Cliff Lodge BAD. On March 4 a Utah House committee advanced HB160, a bill designed to exert Utah control over wilderness designation. One of the strengths of the famous 1964 Wilderness Act is that congress and congress alone can designate federal lands as Wilderness with all the management specifications laid out in that bill trumping the authority of
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GOOD? The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Dick Bass has sold majority interest in Snowbird Resort to Ian Cumming, a businessman intimately familiar with Utah’s ski industry since his family owns Park City Mountain Resort. This development needs the careful attention of everyone concerned about ski resort development in the Wasatch. The Tribune article goes on to say that Bass was pleased that his family www.saveourcanyons.org
Well over 300 individuals attended a debate on the state’s attempt to obtain federally controlled public lands. A cell phone survey of 330 audience participants found 60% of them supporting continued management of those lands by the federal government.
Photos by Alexis Kelner
and Cummings could join together to direct the resort’s future development, including the longdiscussed and highly controversial plan to build a restaurant around the Tram terminal atop Hidden Peak. Save Our Canyons has long been embroiled in this controversy. Much has changed since the late 90s when the Forest Service granted permission for such a structure, but plans keep changing and vigilance will have to remain on high. As it has in the past, SOC will continue to work with Snowbird for our mutual benefit. It is encouraging that Snowbird signed on to Jim Matheson’s Wasatch Wilderness bill’s inclusion of White Pine Canyon in that expansion.
University of Utah political science professor Dan McCool, left, and Pat Shea, former Bureau of Land Management director under President Clinton, were effective in shooting down myths promulgated by proponents of “take back Utah’s lands from the federal government.”
GOOD. A recent public debate concerning the hoped-for takeover of federal public lands by the State of Utah drew a packed house crowd at the City Library. Utah’s 1894 Statehood Enabling Act was extensively debated. An instant cell-phone poll of over 300 attendees showed a three to two ratio in favor of keeping the land under federal control. A high point in the debate had one of the proponents of state takeover asking an opponent why he doesn’t trust state government to manage the lands. His three word reply “Swallow and Shurtleff” drew enthusiastic applause..
1894 Enabling Act for Utah’s Statehood In their demand for the federal government to relinquish title to federal lands in Utah, it is reported that “lawmakers and the governor said that they were only asking the federal government to make good on promises made in the 1894 Enabling Act for Utah to become a state.” What promises? Here is what the Enabling Act says: “That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public www.saveourcanyons.org
lands lying within the boundaries thereof; and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes; and that until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the disposition of the United States, and said Indian lands shall remain under the absolute jurisdiction and control of the Congress of the United States.” That seems to require a willing buyer as well as a willing seller. Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
Recently Released 2014 State of the Rockies Report By John Worlock, SOC Trustee (From his KRCL Wasatch Environmental Update aired on April 27, 2014)
Colorado College recently released the findings in its 2014 State of the Rockies Report. It covers a survey of voter attitudes toward various environmental issues in the six “western” states, including Utah. At first glance, we are encouraged by their findings. The headline of the news release reports that “Conservation could impact Utah’s 2014 ballot box.” The project director, Walt Hecox, tells us that “The West is a major political battlefield this year, and the poll tells us congressional candidates would be wise to consider their positions on conservation and land use issues carefully. Utahns want their air, water, and land protected,” he says, and “where a candidate stands on these issues could potentially sway votes.” Come along with us as we visit some of the survey’s findings. –60% of Utah voters see themselves as conservationists, independent of party affiliation. –Utahns are active in the outdoors: with two thirds hiking regularly, and a similar number being regular campers. –Dwindling water supplies are a serious concern to three-quarters of the voting population, with an equivalent number concerned with pollution of lakes and rivers.
–The survey finds that voters in Utah are avid supporters of their public lands, which enhance their quality of life with little or no burden on traditional extraction industries. A strong majority of 62% believe that environmentally sensitive land should be protected from oil- and gas-well drilling. –Voters in Utah want their state to encourage the use of renewable energy.
While all of that is music to our ears, we begin to wonder what State of Utah was surveyed for this report. These are not the views held by the Utahns who represent us in Washington. Nor are they found in the pronouncements of our statewide elected leaders. This discrepancy is revealed in one of the Survey’s most disturbing findings. Most Utahns acknowledge that conservation is not an issue to which they pay close attention. Furthermore too few are aware of the positions of their elected representatives on such issues as protecting their precious land, air, and water. We, the Utahns, believe in clean air, clean water and wild and undeveloped public land…So let’s elect leaders who share our views! q
By Carl Fisher, Executive Director Editor’s Note: This article, authored by SOC’s Carl Fisher, is an updated version of one previously published at sltrib.com. Two years ago, President Obama employed the Antiquities Act to protect nearly 15,000 acres in California with a National Monument designation. Neither I nor the organization I represent, Save Our Canyons, generally gets involved with protection of lands thousands of miles from where our interests lie in the Wasatch Range. But what caught our interest was a diatribe posted on Rep. Rob Bishop’s website lambasting use of the Antiquities Act by presidents, past and present. We find it ironic that Bishop, R-Utah, called for “total transparency and public input” when he introduced HR 3452 and co-sponsored S 1883 — the Wasatch Range Recreational Access Enhancement Act — which required the Forest Service to dispose of pristine inventoried roadless watershed lands without the support of the congressman who represents the area, without the support of the mayors of Salt Lake City and County, without the support of the mayor whose city is congressionally required to manage the area
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for culinary drinking water of over 600,000 people; and without engaging the public whatsoever in the process. In the same news release the congressman accused the president of circumventing Congress by utilizing the Antiquities Act. Bishop, Talisker, the Canyons and Solitude resorts and the other Republican members of the Utah delegation circumvented public processes by introducing HR3452 rather than going through public planning processes (the National Environmental Protection Act and forest planning acts) or participating in ongoing local discussions concerning our beloved Wasatch Range. Bishop went on to say that if projects are supported locally, “then they should have no problem passing in Congress on their own merits.” Well. Bishop should then look no further than the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act (HR 4267), introduced in Congress in 2010 by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah). His proposed legislation was, and continues to be, supported by a vast stakeholder process including local government officials, local businesses, the ski industry, watershed managers and local communities. Public open houses had been
held, local newspapers had cheered its introduction as a much needed piece of legislation. The legislation is supported by both Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City mayors and local watershed managers. It also had local support, including that of Snowbird Ski Resort. If Congress is chomping at the bit to pass things on their own merits, the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act is awaiting action from Bishop.
The inability of Congress to pass broadly supported public lands protection bills, fostered by honest, transparent and inclusive processes, leaves the public with little choice but to start looking to the executive branch in hopes it will protect our national treasures by utilizing the Antiquities Act. q
A Mountain Accord By Mayor Ben McAdams, Councilman Chris Robinson, and Laynee Jones, Program Manager for the Mountain Accord. Ben McAdams
Mountain Accord is a collaborative effort that focuses on the future we choose for the Wasatch mountains. It is our chance to seize the moment, to build on past efforts and to make a blueprint and integrated action plan for the future. The blueprint will address our open space, transportation, and watershed needs - identifying optimal areas for preservation, development and environmentally-sustainable transportation corridors. Our timeline is aggressive - we hope to have a blueprint completed by January 2015. Communities are rapidly growing and threats are real, so there is no time to waste. Either we sit back and react to the forces that are at play or we act now, putting ourselves in the driver seat- and harness the ideas, knowledge, and passion for this iconic place. All the decision-makers are at the table – elected officials, civic leaders, government, private businesses, and the public – serious about making long-term decisions and willing to compromise. Since our formal launch in January we have engaged over 200 participants into four groups on environment, recreation, transportation, and economy. Through hours of thoughtful discussion and analysis of past studies and data, we have agreed on a baseline of common knowledge for upcoming decisions, and we have a solid understanding of the issues we face (see www.saveourcanyons.org
Existing Conditions and Future Trends report at www. mountainaccord.com). A unique feature of this effort is the collaboration between the Wasatch Front and Park City and Wasatch/Summit Counties. We may live in different jurisdictions and vote in different local elections but when you stand on a ridgeline near a mountain pass, you realize how arbitrary those boundaries are, and that in reality, we are all connected. We know that our health, our quality of life, open space opportunities, and our economic prosperity are all connected to what we collectively decide for this landscape – 20, 30, even 100 years from now. We have seen a lot of participation from the public to date but we need more. Our next step is to set a vision for the Wasatch mountains and explore specific ideas to achieve our goals. Tell us what you think at www. mountainaccord.com. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of something remarkable. Ben McAdams is Mayor of Salt Lake County, Chris Robinson is the Chair of the Summit County Council and Laynee Jones is the Program Manager for the Mountain Accord.
Save Our Canyons, June, 2014
Citizens’ Committee to Save Our Canyons 824 So. 400 West St. Suite B-115 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH PERMIT NO. 7271
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Outreach and community education at S.L. Farmers Market Dates: June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13 Location: Pioneer Park Time: 8:00 am to 2:00 am
Big Cottonwood Canyon highway cleanup Dates; June 15, July 17, August 19 Location: Miles 8 to 10 of SR 190 (Meet at BCC Park ‘n ride Time: 6:00 p.m. Contact: Info@saveourcanyons.org
Dispersed Recreation Survey on the Central Wasatch Mountains Dates: Ongoing (May 1 through May 2015) Location: Varying depending on date and time Time: Varies (4 hour blocks) Contact: Berlin Jespersen (email@example.com) Volunteers must be 18 and over
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