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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Alta and the Little Cottonwood Canyon puzzle

Nov 27, 2018 04:00PM ● By Harriet Wallis

Alta's base area / photo: Harriet Wallis

It's complicated. The Salt Lake City population swells, and the canyons gets quickly snarled with traffic. Water quality and the environment are major issues. Land swaps are a possibility if they'd help solve the problems. But there are no easy solutions.

Mike Maughan, Alta's president and general manager, said that as he sees it, some legislative bodies are looking at piecemeal solutions. And some organizations and special interest groups are pushing and shoving to get their way with land use, water, and the patchwork quilt of private lands, national forest lands, and diluted conservation efforts rather than solving overall problems.

Because of the overall confusion, "Alta has removed its private lands in Grizzly Gulch from the current land exchange," a press release said.

"While we have removed 200 acres from the land exchange to preserve our flexibility to accommodate recreational growth,  we still have 500 acres of land we are willing to exchange," Maughan said. "We need solutions that benefit all recreational visitors rather than the special interests of a few groups or individuals."

"Moving forward legislation that only addresses one part of the puzzle is unfair and does not seem like the right thing to do," he said.

As an overview: "For the past 81 years, Alta has worked with the US Forest Service, Salt Lake City Watershed and the Town of Alta to provide recreational opportunities and protect the environment.," he said.

"Today, we have a world class ski area visited by up to 500,000 people annually with a healthy forest, vibrant wetlands and clean water. We consider ourselves conservationists striving to provide recreational opportunities for current and future outdoor enthusiasts while managing their impact on the environment."