Some money has been set aside to get rid of the dilapidated grit mill at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon — if the U.S. Forest Service ultimately approves the plan.
Patrons at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort’s December gala raised $28,541 for the proposed project, which would remove the old mill from the north side of the canyon road, expand a parking lot and improve the trail system accessing the climbing routes on lower Little Cottonwood’s steep granite faces.
The money will be donated to the nonprofit National Forest Foundation, a partner of the Forest Service, which will provide matching funds. A $57,000 check then will be turned over to the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, which will work with the Forest Service’s Salt Lake Ranger District on the $350,000 project, provided it is approved.
District Ranger Cathy Kahlow said a decision is likely to be made this spring.
Built in the 1950s to sift granite, the mill was abandoned after about a decade of use. It has since become a site of vandalism and graffiti.
"Our guests drive by this eyesore," said Snowbird President Bob Bonar, "and we wanted to help clean it up and make Little Cottonwood Canyon more beautiful for our community to enjoy."
The Forest Service made the proposal last year after consulting numerous stakeholders, including the Unified Police Department, Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose Salt Lake City temple was partially built with granite from the lower canyon.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.