Thank you to those that participated in the Ski Link public forum. I have spoken with many that have skied the Alps and are interested in the possibility of skiing multiple resorts linked together in Utah.
We recently returned from skiing in Europe at the Portes du Soliel. For $50 a day twelve separate ski resorts are linked together between France and Switzerland. Daily we skied untracked powder between resorts linked by lifts, trams, gondolas and buses. The backcountry accessible from the linked resorts was powder every day for the eight days we were there. We skied with a guide, avalanche transceivers, probes, shovels and Avalungs. The skiing was on par with helicopter skiing. I hope someday to have a similar backcountry ski experience between linked resorts in Utah.
One of our most valuable Utah resources is our mountains and forests. If separate European countries and cultures can work together to link resorts and only one lift ticket is required, perhaps neighboring ski operators in Utah can negotiate something similar. Perhaps resorts can come together with a comprehensive plan that minimizes damage to the natural habitat while linking multiple resorts.
I hope someday multiple resorts in the Wasatch Front are linked together in an eco-friendly way that creates a one-of-a kind American ski experience.
Signs of spring: poop-bag people are back
While walking my dogs along one of our lovely Summit Park trails Wednesday afternoon, I saw one of the unmistakable signs of spring: little brightly colored plastic bags full of stinky goo. I found three, in fact, on my relatively short walk; it appears the poop-bag people are back.
Certainly many Parkites and residents of Summit County who use the trails are familiar with this demographic. Otherwise well-intentioned dog walkers, in an attempt to clean up after their pets, bag the poop and leave it by the side of the trail. They are apparently under the assumption that someone will come along behind them (today it was me) and pick up the little bags. Perhaps they think that in our service industry-oriented community there is a staff of folk who walk the trails every day to clean up after them.
No doubt in this area, with a high dog-to-person ratio, it is important to clean up after our pets. Especially this time of year when the sight and smell of thawing dog poop can be a detriment to enjoying our trails (not to mention a hazard to health and water quality). However, I'm sure many would also agree that leaving a plastic bag of dog waste along a road or trail is no different that taking a bag of household trash and leaving it on the street in front of a neighbor's house.
Further, along with all other forms of littering it is illegal under Title 76 of the Utah Criminal Code (Title 76, Chapter 10, Section 2701). Please, poop-bag people, respect all other trail users, be responsible dog owners, and not only clean up after your pets but also take the bags with you.
The General Plan should remain regulatory
The regulatory nature of the current General Plan played a pivotal role in the denial of the Stoneridge application, where a 300-unit high-density development would have been built on property now purchased by the county as open space adjacent to Round Valley. Throughout this multi-year application process, county staff repeatedly presented to the Planning Commission and County Council this development as fully compliant with both Development Code and General Plan requirements, even though the project failed to meet dozens of the most fundamental regulations.
A unanimous public effort to ensure enforcement of the code and General Plan, involving hundreds of citizens, including authors of the code and plan, only furthered the resolve of county staff. Though the current General Plan explicitly states it is regulatory (and further confirmed as such by the state ombudsman), county staff continued to attempt to convince the Planning Commission and County Council the General Plan was advisory and therefore not required to be enforced.
The General Plan is the voice of the people, codifying their long-term vision for the development of the community sans urban sprawl. Enforcement of the current regulatory General Plan has required a vast amount public effort over many years. Were the new General Plan to become advisory, the fox would finally have the keys to the henhouse.