During the May 4th meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission, the Commission approved funding for six project proposals that resulted from the Call for Ideas opened to the public in March.
The goal of the Call for Ideas was to identify projects for possible funding that implement transportation and transit solutions and protect the ecosystems and watershed that originate in the Central Wasatch, steward recreational access, and sustain the economic viability of the Cottonwood Canyons. The Commission moved to enter into partnerships on six projects that address the tenets laid out in Mountain Accord. The funding for the six approved projects will be allocated from the Central Wasatch Commission’s 2019/2020 fiscal year budget and will not call upon reserve funding.
Starting in May, the CWC will partner on the following projects:
- The maintenance of three United States Forest Service bathrooms at trailheads located at Donut Falls and Mill B in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and Temple Quarry in Little
Cottonwood Canyon. These projects will build upon a partnership among the Central Wasatch Commission, Salt Lake City Public Utilities, and the United States Forest Service (USFS) to service existing bathroom facilities at trailheads popular with the public. CWC funding will ensure that the USFS will continue to provide public access to these facilities as USFS funding sources have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Co-sponsored “Chipper Days” throughout Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, Millcreek Canyon, and Parley’s Corridor. This project will facilitate a partnership among the CWC, local jurisdictions, and the State’s Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands to help mitigate potential fire risks throughout the project area by reducing fuels and educating the public on best fuels management practices.
- A land acquisition in Cottonwood Heights at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Central Wasatch Commission would be contributing to Utah Open Lands’ ongoing effort to raise necessary funding to purchase 26 acres of land at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The land acquisition is supported by Cottonwood Heights, Salt Lake County, and other organizations. It would protect vital viewshed and provide an opportunity to create a trailhead for access to adjacent trails and recreational areas as well as connect a portion of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
- The construction of two significant bridges to allow the rerouted Dog Lake trail to cross a ravine to the eastside of Reynolds Peak. This project will build upon a partnership among the CWC, Trails Utah, and the United States Forest Service to address erosion, protection of the watershed, and safety as the Dog Lake trail is a highly trafficked trail by various user groups. Without CWC funding, the project would otherwise not have been able to be completed in the 2020 work season.
- Support of the ongoing maintenance of the Lone Peak Wilderness Wag Bag Kiosk, sponsored by Save Our Canyons, the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, and the Gear Room SLC. The funding provided by the CWC will enable Save Our Canyons staff to continue the replenishment of wag bags at the Jacob’s Ladder trailhead, helping hikers to pack out human waste rather than leaving it in wilderness and watershed areas. Without the funding provided by the CWC, the kiosk would not have been replenished through the 2020 summer season.
- The Graffiti Busters is a group of local residents who remove graffiti tags that appear throughout the tri-canyon area. The group estimate that they remove approximately 300 graffiti tags that appear on rock faces, bathroom doors, and trailhead signs per summer season. The CWC support will help the Graffiti Busters maintain their work by providing funding for the watershed-safe solvent used to remove tags and for the purchase of a power washer, making the abatement process easier and faster.
“The Central Wasatch Commission is excited to enter into public/private partnerships with organizations working to steward recreational access, sustain the ecosystems, and protect the watershed that originate in the Central Wasatch,” said Christopher Robinson, Chair of the Central Wasatch Commission, and Summit County Council member. “These projects signify the ongoing commitment of the CWC and the broader community to the preservation of the Central Wasatch Mountain Range.”
All six of these projects will take place during the 2020 work season and will address tenets laid out in Mountain Accord including recreational stewardship, environmental and watershed protection. Partnering with nonprofit organizations, and other governmental entities on these projects will allow the CWC the opportunity to engage diverse stakeholders throughout the Central Wasatch and will help see these projects to completion.