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Park Record Editorial on Mountain Accord Is Misguided

In Saturday’s Park Record, the editorial staff say that “abandoning the Mountain Accord would be an unpardonable mistake.” So what they are saying is that our leaders could never be forgiven if they sit out the Mountain Accord. Those are strong words, so let’s see what their justification is:

  • Our watersheds, moose, eagles, and playgrounds are endangered
  • People have said that the process has been hijacked by Salt Lake City interests and are detrimental to Park City and therefore it is more important than ever to stay in the Mountain Accord
  • If we walk away, we forgo having any say in the Salt Lake side’s resort and transportation expansion

To help Roger Armstrong, et al. escape from Park Record’s Prison, we’d like to look at the Park Record’s reasoning a bit more.

Watersheds, Moose, and Eagles: 

They almost had us here. We love moose. The site of a baby moose with her mom is adorable. We also love eagles — they are our national bird after all (and Russia’s and 32 other countries for informational purposes). Oh, and watersheds, yes water is important.

Yet, we can’t help but feel like we are being played a bit here. 

Moose and eagle populations will flourish because of Mountain Accord? Uh, we hadn’t heard that before. We’d love to go and research that but frankly we don’t know where we’d start. So, we’ll leave that as a maybe.

That leaves us with watersheds on this point. We do think water is our most important resource. We understand that some land will be donated from the ski resorts to the public as part of Mountian Accord. We suppose this could contribute to more, pristine water. Yet we also see that the resorts will be given more water for snow making. So, how much more net-usable water will come from the Wasatch under this plan? Will more water be available to the citizens of Park City and Salt Lake or will the resorts take more, thus leaving a net negative return? We haven’t seen specifics on that.

Finally, not to be selfish… but whether Park City is part of the Mountain Accord or not, won’t this land, and thus water, be preserved either way?

Project Controlled By SLC, Thus We Need to Stay in the Accord to Fight: 

County council member Roger Armstrong had an interesting take on a similar issue. Another council member said we should stay in the Accord in order to find out what may benefit Summit County. Mr Armstrong said they had a year to show us the benefits and we hadn’t seen them.

We find it hard to believe that our miniscule investment will influence the powers behind the Mountain Accord. We also believe we would have seen the benefits by now. We still believe that the only real benefit to us could come from some crazy, desperate bargain (i.e. a train around the Snyderville Basin is paid for by someone else or school equalization ended). If that’s the plan, let’s just walk away and await the offer.

The other reason this reasons rings hollow is that either Chris Robinson or Andy Beerman (sorry we can’t remember which) said at the Mountain Accord meeting that the Mountain Accord could not violate the decision of the locality. We took that to mean that they couldn’t force something on us. So, if we are to believe that, we really do control our land — and destiny, even if we choose to not continue with the Mountain Accord.

Forgo any say in SLC’s resort and transportation plans: 

Do you think we really have any say in those? Also, as far as we can tell their transportation plans are to make Sandy a hub for transportation. As for resorts, it looks like a few Wasatch-front resorts will have more skiable terrain. We don’t see our influence in that or why it matters all that much to us.


So we don’t buy the Park Record’s arguments. The more and more we hear, a line from an old John Denver song keeps getting stuck in our heads:

Now his life is full of wonder
But his heart still knows some fear
Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend
Why they try to tear the mountains down
To bring in a couple more
More people, more scars upon the land

… And staring at the Park Record editorial, all we see is this:




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