The ambitious plan to connect seven ski resorts in Utah’s Central Wasatch Mountains, dubbed One Wasatch, could be postponed under a new proposal from Mountain Accord. The plan seeks to preserve the watershed, address transportation needs, and maintain all recreational uses of the mountains.
Under Mountain Accord’s plan, an environmentally sustainable system of buses or trains would connect ski resorts, and development would be limited to urban areas and within the ski resorts’ existing boundaries, according to Fox 13. Mountain Accord’s executive committee is made up of elected officials and members of government agencies, businesses, and nonprofits.
“We are basically preserving most of the backcountry terrain as it is today,” Laynee Jones, Mountain Accord’s planning manager, told Fox 13. “There are some minor areas that may change.”
KUER reports that the proposal could throw a wrench into One Wasatch’s plans to connect the resorts via gondola, render off-limits some areas the resorts had hoped to develop, and require land swaps that would result in some resorts giving up about 2,000 acres of private land for public protection. Nathan Rafferty, president of Ski Utah, told KUER that he doesn’t think Mountain Accord completely ruins the One Wasatch plan. “I think everything is still on the table,” he said. “I’m excited that we’re talking about some of these big issues. I think Mountain Accord is doing a super job of negotiating some pretty tricky waters.”
“When you look at the whole picture of the blueprint, there’s wins for the resorts, there’s wins for backcountry skiers, there’s wins for the residents of Salt Lake, but everybody’s had to make compromises,” Jones told KUER.
Three public meetings are planned this month to allow feedback on the Mountain Accord proposal. The executive board will meet in April to sign a formal agreement to implement the plan.