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Should the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance Be Running Mountain Accord? It Sure Looks Like It.

I received an anonymous tip with an email that was sent from the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance and Winter Wonderlands Alliance to the Mountain Accord. It is one of the best constructed and thought-out arguments against parts of the the Mountain Accord that I have seen. If you care about the Mountain Accord process, you should read it, as these people seem to share many of values that Summit County residents have.

The main points are:

  • They are pleased to see the Mountain Accord process moving forward and appreciate the opportunity for the public to “weigh in” on the Accord.
  • “We do not support an interconnection between Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, or any combination thereof.”
  • “As drafted, the Blueprint needs much improvement – it simply places too much emphasis on development over preservation of the environment and dispersed recreation.”
  • “Additionally, many components put forth in this draft would bring sweeping and permanent changes – with significant indirect and cumulative impacts, as well as potential benefits – on both public and private lands, but few details exist to address their viability. Significantly more information is necessary to understand the full implications of some MA elements, and to make wise choices between Alternatives. “
  • “We are not opposed to ski area development within existing boundaries or improved transit, far from it, but we are wary of how these and other related actions are packaged in the draft.”
  • “Balancing recreational opportunities and preserving a healthy Wasatch are not new ideas. Conservation is the status quo in the canyons right now, supported by both regulation and the weight of public opinion. One example of this overwhelming public opinion is the fact that all parties involved with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games agreed that the development/impacts associated with holding Olympic events was not appropriate for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. There needs to be an extremely compelling reason to veer away from that.”

I’ll stop there and encourage you to read their entire email. It even includes proposals on what they would do. Many times critics are dismissed because they don’t offer alternatives. That’s not possible here.

What I really wonder is why weren’t people like this in charge of the Mountain Accord process from the beginning. They don’t appear to be the anti-everything crowd and they have interesting ideas worth consideration. While I don’t agree with everything in their “platform”, at least its a better place to start from. Instead the process has been co-opted by … something entirely different.

If you have a little time this weekend, we’d suggest giving it a look.

Thanks to the person who provided this tip. It adds so much to the public discussion. I couldn’t do the Park Rag without so much support from the community. Thank you.


1 Comment


The WBA has been involved with the Mountain Accord since the outset and have done valuable work in trying to bring balance to the process. In fact in the first meeting, if memory serves, the WBA reps and I were the only people in the Transportation Group who weren’t affiliated with a ski resort (Deer Valley and Solitude were there, among others) or a governmental or quasi-governmental entity. Good folks over there at the WBA.

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