The upper reaches of Little Cottonwood Canyon are likely to have better broadband Internet service next winter.
Alta and Snowbird ski areas are seeking U.S. Forest Service approval to install 15 new antennas on structures at the two resorts and to bury about 12,500 feet of fiber-optic lines to support the system.
The Forest Service’s Salt Lake Ranger District has determined that these projects and five other proposals will not have much impact on the landscape and do not require detailed environmental study.
But before decisions are finalized, District Ranger Cathy Kahlow noted that public comments will be accepted in various forms through April 25. More detailed information about the proposals is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/uwcnf/landmanagement/projects.
All would be done this summer, said Forest District Ranger Steve Scheid.
Alta Ski Area officials want to install six antennas on existing buildings and a seventh on a webcam pole near Sunnyside lift’s top terminal. At Snowbird, seven antenna would replace informational signs near lifts and the eighth would be attached to the Mid-Gad restaurant building.
Snowbird also is requesting Forest Service approval to install a new snowmaking line in Mineral Basin. The 3,000-foot line would go in east of Baldy Express lift to build early-season snowpack on the well-traveled Birds Nest and Lupine Loop trails.
The Forest Service also is working with Alta Ski Area and the nonprofit Cottonwood Canyons Foundation to re-route two summer hiking trails in Albion Basin.
The first proposal is to create about 200 feet of new trail at the beginning of the Albion Meadows trail to eliminate the need for hikers to walk on a service road between Albion Day Lodge and the resort’s vehicle maintenance shop.
In the second, the first 1,000 feet of trail from Albion Basin campground to Devil’s Castle loop will be moved onto Forest Service land to avoid crossing private ground.
Also up for consideration is the re-issuance of a 10-year permit to SPLORE, a nonprofit that provides guided outings (snowshoeing, rock climbing, cross-country skiing) to children and adults with disabilities, health-care needs or come from refugee or impoverished backgrounds.
Through April 25, the public may submit comments on several small summer projects by:
• Mail or hand delivery to Salt Lake District Ranger, 6944 S. 3000 East, Salt Lake, 84121;
• Email to firstname.lastname@example.org;
• Telephone at 801-733-2660.