It's been almost a month since Curbed Ski analyzed the ambitious new blueprint released by Mountain Accord, a group of 20 public and private entities working together to preserve the future of Utah's Wasatch mountains. Since then, Mountain Accord has held several public events in order to explain their ideas and get feedback on proposals related to transportation, the environment, recreation, and the economy. At February's packed meeting in Park City, dozens of people offered opinions and concerns. Now it's your turn, Curbediverse: do you think Mountain Accord is a good plan for the Wasatch?
Everyone from environmentalists to transportation officials have worked on the Mountain Accord blueprint, and it represents what some see as a possible compromise between interest groups that rarely see eye to eye. Highlights of the proposal include a tunnel linking Alta and Brighton, a train running up Little Cottonwood Canyon, and an array of major land exchanges (read about the full plan over here).
On the one hand, proponents say that with Mountain Accord, everyone gets something but no one gets everything that they want. Environmental groups like Save Our Canyons are looking to engage in policy-making before more development occurs in the Wasatch, instead of having to respond to protect things after the fact. The ski industry, represented by Ski Utah, is willing to give up possible resort expansions for assurances that Mountain Accord will provide better transportation and resort-to-resort connections that make Utah skiing more marketable. Other proponents argue that Mountain Accord is a significant opportunity to protect the Wasatch and provide a much-needed long-term plan for future growth.
At the public meetings hosted by Mountain Accord in February, there has also been much opposition. Questions abound about watershed protection, rail lines, automobiles, the bus system, and whether building a tunnel between the Cottonwood Canyons and Park City is necessary or wise. Some feel that One Wasatch was a better plan to connect the Wasatch ski areas than Mountain Accord's transit proposals. Another big concern is how Mountain Accord will pay for the plans, which could run up to $3 billion. Others complain that Mountain Accord's blueprint serves tourists more than locals at the cost of increased development in the Cottonwood Canyons.
So let us know in the comments, what do you think Curbediverse? What are the positive attributes of Mountain Accord and what are the negatives? And finally:
· Mountain Accord [Official Site]
· One Wasatch [Official Site]
· Resorts, conservationists prepared to compromise on future of Wasatch Mountains [Salt Lake Tribune]
· In Mountain Accord, is there a 'grand bargain' or a 'non-answer?' [Park Record]
· Mountain Accord Unveils Ambitious Plan for Utah Ski Country [Curbed Ski]
· New Utah Blueprint Threatens the Future of One Wasatch [Curbed Ski]
· Just How Big is Utah's Plan for a Euro-Style Mega Ski Resort? [Curbed Ski]
· New Map Shows How 7 Utah Ski Areas Could Become One [Curbed Ski]
· Connecting 7 Wasatch Ski Areas in Utah: Could it Really Work? [Curbed Ski]