City Council Corner
Mountain Accord: Your input is essential!
By Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr.
When city leaders are facing a big decision, citizen input can be invaluable in helping shape the outcome of those decisions. In most instances, citizen comments positively influence the discussion, help shed light on solutions not previously considered, and change the outcome for the better.
As we look forward, we know that there are very big decisions looming with regard to the central Wasatch Mountains, particularly the Cottonwood Canyons. Besides the positive economic impact the tourism industry brings to local businesses, the canyons provide us with opportunities for recreation, leisure, and escape. They are also a critical source of drinking water for our valley, which mandates good environmental stewardship.
The canyons are a beautiful respite from the stress of the daily grind, and we want as many people as possible to experience the Wasatch Mountains. However, unless we find ways to handle increased traffic, pollution and wear and tear, the canyons are in danger of being loved to death.
Cottonwood Heights has joined with organizations such as Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch Counties, Salt Lake City, Park City, Sandy City, UTA, the US Forest Service, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Save Our Canyons, Ski Utah and others to form Mountain Accord. The purpose of Mountain Accord is to ensure the environmentally responsible vitality of the central Wasatch Mountains and surrounding communities for the foreseeable future.
However, in order to implement solutions to the recreation, transportation, environmental and economic issues facing the central Wasatch, we need to know what you want those solutions to be. In other words, your contribution to this process is just as important as any other participant’s involvement.
Mountain Accord has outlined a process for the public to help shape the future use of our mountains and canyons. Phase One, which has just begun, will allow the group to gather public input, come up with several possible scenarios, choose a preferred plan and then decide on the actions necessary to implement that plan. During Phase Two, the members of the Mountain Accord team will work to implement the proposed actions identified in Phase One. Our goal is to complete Phase One within a year in order to begin Phase Two of the project.
So, by now you may be wondering, “How can I register my comments and ideas?” There are many ways to contribute your input, including the following:
Submit comments through the Mountain Accord Web site at www.mountainaccord.com. This site is ground zero for information, updates, and public comments. The site includes educational materials, past studies of the canyons, maps and more. You can also sign up for the Mountain Accord electronic newsletter.
Interact with @MountainAccord on Twitter.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments can be sent to email@example.com.
Attend public meetings. The first public scoping meetings happened in Park City and Salt Lake City during the first week of February, but there will be more opportunities to participate later this year. Keep an eye on the Mountain Accord Web site for details on upcoming meetings.
Every resident of Cottonwood Heights will have the opportunity to give their input into this process, and we encourage all citizens to be actively involved. Broader participation will lead to balanced outcomes that best represent the interests of our community.