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Alta's can of worms
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Proposed Alta ski changes get lukewarm response" (Tribune, March 26):

Alta Ski Area's recent laundry list of requests to the U.S. Forest Service puts it in the unpopular class with Snowbird, Solitude and Canyons ski resorts. Like other resorts, it appears Alta would like to generally wreak more havoc on the once idyllic alpine area.

In addition to proposing chairlifts to mountaintops and sensitive backcountry terrain, Alta wants to develop 500-900 hotel rooms and expand its upper parking lot.

Alta's shotgun development proposal was likely to uncover vulnerabilities for subsequent exploitation. Instead, it may have opened a can of worms in involving agencies meant to protect the public and the environment.

The Forest Service logically rejected the chairlift expansion proposals, but Alta's parking lot expansion request highlights major air-quality and safety issues. Daily auto travel to ski areas creates dramatic amounts of pollution and accidents.

Future ski resort development should only occur on the existing development space (like Alta's vast parking). The natural result would be a better environment and increased general support for a mass-transit that is faster, safer and cleaner.

Brian Hutchinson

Salt Lake City

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