At a special meeting on Monday, the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) voted unanimously to approve the 10/26/18 draft legislation of the Central Wasatch National Conservation Recreation Area Act (CWNCRA) and encourage introduction by Utah’s Congressional delegation.
The major change made in the 10/26/18 draft CWNCRA is the exclusion of Alta Ski Lifts current ski area boundary and surrounding private lands from the NCRA. Alta Ski Lifts’ private lands, lands under Forest Service special use permits, and lands within the Town of Alta boundary are removed from the CWNCRA. By removing the Alta Ski Lifts area from the CWNCRA, Alta Ski Lifts is left in the same position after the Legislation is enacted as it is today. Alta Ski Lifts may continue to pursue ski area expansion proposals on its private lands and through application to the Forest Service. There is no explicit land exchange authorization for Alta Ski Lifts in the 10/26/18 legislation, but Alta Ski Lifts can continue to pursue administrative land exchange proposals through the U.S. Forest Service.
“We’ll just keep working because we all want to see Alta Ski Lifts as part of the deal,” said CWC Chair Chris McCandless. “The legislation we adopted tonight does not preclude the CWC from working with Alta Ski Lifts and other key stakeholders to reach consensus.”
The 10/26/18 draft CWNCRA is the third draft of the legislation building on HR 5716, introduced by Jason Chaffetz in 2016. It is the culmination of years of effort from stakeholders, many of which contributed to and signed the landmark Mountain Accord. The draft approval also comes on the heels of a months-long effort by CWC staff to outreach with community councils, organizations, businesses, private citizens, and canyon property owners.
With the approval of the CWC Board, CWC staff will continue to refine the draft legislation and seek support from Utah’s Federal Delegation to formally introduce the CWNCRA to Congress for consideration and passage.