Conservation groups have launched a campaign designed to rally opposition to a proposed gondola that would link the two Utah ski resorts. SkiLink would provide a gondola from Canyons Resort in Park City to Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Save Our Canyons, the Sierra Club and the Wasatch Mountain Club are mounting the campaign against SkiLink.
Republican members of Utah’s congressional delegation have introduced legislation requiring the U.S. Forest Service to sell 30.3 acres of land needed for the project to Talisker Inc., the Canadian company that owns Canyons Resort. If passed, it would remove the Forest Service from the regulatory process overseeing SkiLink, leaving decisions up to Salt Lake and Summit counties and Salt Lake City.
The Forest Service’s master plan for the central Wasatch Mountains prohibits ski resort expansion on public lands. But the bill before Congress, state Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, said, “subverts the democratic process–and process matters. It sets an awful precedent for other public lands in Utah.”
A petition drive against the gondola has collected 1,600 signatures so far, including from Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.