Letters to the Editor, July 13-15, 2016
UDOT comments about wildlife fencing fall short
To start, I do congratulate UDOT for the past wildlife fencing they’ve installed but any reasonable wildlife expert or highway engineer would have recognized that it should have gone over the top of Parley’s to at least the underpass at Jeremy Ranch.
This summit area is a main wildlife corridor and crossing in the Central Wasatch! For under $750k the rusted/broken 4’ old fencing (that is down in many areas) can be replaced with straight 8’ fencing leaving the two underpasses as crossings. John Gleason of UDOT’s comment; “Unfortunately, there isn’t a surefire solution that will keep all of the animals off the road 100 percent of the time” is true but doing NOTHING creates an ABSOLUTE KILL ZONE here! Fourteen Moose killed in the past two years.
Consistently seeing these majestic symbols of our communities and businesses lying mangled and rotting on I-80 is disgusting and unacceptable! Further vacuous bureaucrat speak such as “we are actively and proactively addressing and that’s what we have been doing”; fall short. Really John, how? Absolutely nothing has been done at the top of Parley’s to Jeremy Ranch since the 2011 feasibility study and you’re doing another study?
Our localized moose population has been devastated. It’s been sickening this summer to see two babies, young bulls and a pregnant cow dead in front of our houses. Wake up UDOT, you can easily install straight fencing to Jeremy Ranch! More “feasibility studies” are a waste of taxpayer money.
Yosemite trademark battle holds lessons for Park City
For over half a century Yosemite National Park has held a special place in my heart. From camping trips as a young child to getting engaged on Half-Dome, just hearing the name of an area of the park evokes wonderful memories.
The incomparable Ahwahnee Hotel, the historic Wawona Hotel, the rustic Curry Village, and the Yosemite Lodge, were all synonymous with lodging in OUR National Park. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Big Tree Lodge, Half Dome Village and Yosemite Valley Lodge are the names the new concessionaire (Aramark) is being forced to use to reference these icons of Yosemite. Apparently the former concessionaire (Delaware North) claims they own the trade mark to the names of the above referenced locations, as well as Badger Pass Ski Area.
Delaware North is willing to let Aramark use the original names for, by one report, a sum of $44 million dollars. How did that happen to We The People, the owners and stewards of Yosemite? Who let Delaware North-purchase/own the names inside our National Park? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office played a role, as did the National Park Service Meanwhile, we foot the bill for the millions of dollars in temporary signage while the courts wade through the issue.
While I ascribe no nefarious intentions to Vail Corp regarding the trademark of OUR town name, “Park City”, no one knows what the future holds. We need to be very careful what we give away. If anyone should own the rights to the name, shouldn’t it be US?
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Insurers need to fund treatment for eating disorders
Please help bring attention to the importance of insurance companies treating and covering eating disorders differently than they currently are and to the fact that the laws need to be changed regarding eating disorders. Far too many loved ones are suffering or losing their lives because they cannot get the treatment they need from the insurance companies that currently deny them proper coverage.
Eating disorders have the number one highest mortality rate due to suicide and mental stability. We need to get the word out so things can change. And we can save lives. Everyone knows someone who has or is suffering from some form of an eating disorder whether they realize it or not. We need education and change.
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Chamber music concerts are spell-binding
I just wished to express my thanks to the Park City Beethoven Festival and all their sponsors for 33 years of bringing such high quality, exquisitely beautiful, perfectly performed, complex, world-class chamber music to Park City. It has been — and is –truly an amazing summer pleasure to attend these chamber concerts. For instance, at Temple Har Shalom on July 10, the program of composers: dreamy Debussy, soul-touching Beethoven, flowing Mozart in G minor and hauntingly and intriguing Khatchaturian, enthralled us. At the end, we broke into a well-deserved standing ovation.
Classical cellist, Scot Ballantyne, brought a true poetic and highly ethereal interpretation to Debussy’s music. Rebekah Johnson ‘s violin evoked warm, leading and engaging textures, pianist Hiroko Sasaki ‘s phrasing, sensitivity and timing was totally refined. It could not have been better.
As always, our own Park City, highly skilled clarinetist, Russell Harlow created intriguing phrases and developed unusual musical ideas. Leslie Harlow ‘s viola ‘s response to each nuance interwove colors and feeling with such ease. It was spell and a wonderful complement to all of our fun loving, extreme sports, physical outside activities and engaging rock and pop music in Park City.
Thank you so very much for making it all possible. We look for ward to many more chamber concerts. We are so lucky to live here!
Pamela C. Smith
Shame on UDOT
It is good practice to never increase the barrier effect of roads and traffic on wildlife without also providing safe and effective wildlife crossing opportunities (Huijser et al., 2015). Wildlife fencing without wildlife crossing structures can trap animals on the fence side of highways at fence gaps and increase wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Wildlife fencing for deer, elk, and moose should cover the entire length of a wildlife-vehicle collision hotspot plus the radius of their range, or a 4 km buffer radius, on either side. An 8 km length of fenced roadway should have at least three wildlife crossing structures (one approximately every 2 km).
Construction and maintenance costs of an 8 km wildlife system including jump-outs, fence end treatments, wildlife guards, access gates and wildlife crossing underpasses may cost over $5 million to build and $12,000/year to maintain.
While waiting for such a system to be designed and built by UDOT, it may be worth investing in two (one for each side of the collision hot spot) of $100,000 automatic wildlife detection and driver speed-change systems because simple warning signs are known to be ineffective at getting drivers to slow down. After completing fencing and wildlife crossing structures, the $200,000 detection and speed-change notification systems could be moved to another local wildlife-vehicle collision hotspot or used as fence-end treatments on I80.
Surely Deer Valley, Vail, Park City Municipal Corporation, Park City Chamber of Commerce, and Summit County together have financial interest and wherewithal to help preserve our wildlife to preserve our local forest health and climate and, thus, local business interests. Why not build a temporary, moveable wildlife warning and speed change system on I80, the main access road to Park City, until UDOT can design and build a comprehensive wildlife fencing and crossing system?
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.