Stop SkiLink – The Video

The things that make the Wasatch so special endure year round, even if the snow in the Wasatch does not. Please take a moment and watch this video: http://vimeo.com/62310753, courtesy of Ryan Hanlon and our good friends at GEBBS.

While we do not know what yesterday’s news from VailVail Resorts, and Canyons Resort means with respect to the future of SkiLink, we are hopeful that new ears will listen to the locals and learn why we feel so strongly that SkiLink is not in the public interest. We urge you, our loyal followers, to engage in respectful dialogue and share what makes the Wasatch so important to you.

We appreciate your continued support, and we know that the 2,800+ of us on this page (and thousands more who have yard signs, have signed the petition (tinyurl.com/stopskilink), etc.) are influencing the public discourse, helping to preserve the Wasatch, and helping to Stop SkiLink Now!

Cherish our Public Lands

Willow Heights

Ross HagerThis week, we are pleased to feature a guest blog post from Ross Hager. A native of Streator, Illinois, graduate of the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, Ross works in the Healthcare Industry and is a married father of two.

If you would like to contribute blog content, please contact us at info@StopSkiLink.org.

I grew up in a small town outside of Chicago with almost no public lands. My parents were teachers and every summer we would load up the van and drive west. I fell in love with the mountains in my youth and finally made my way to Salt Lake in 1998, leaving my family, friends and the midwest behind. I am still falling in love with the mountains, with every skin track I climb, flowing single track I descend or snowcapped peak I stare at. I sometimes feel a bit jealous of my children, they get to grow up here in Utah, so close to all of our wonderful public lands. But what we have today is no guarantee for tomorrow. Skilink legislation and the precedent it sets threatens our access to our public lands and we must do everything we can to stop it.

I have seen mostly empty National Forest campgrounds as a kid to now needing reservations , mostly empty mountain bike trails 10 years ago to very busy trails now, hardly seeing anyone backcountry skiing to now 5 foot wide skin tracks and tracked out bowls in one day. Full parking lots at trailheads are the norm in our Wasatch, especially on the weekends. My point is with our growing population and growing outdoor recreation industry we should be protecting our public lands, not selling them to developers.

Ross

Selling a piece of public land to a private company, whether it be 30 acres or 300 square miles cannot be undone. A piece of private property can be made off limits to the public, No Trespassing signs can be put up. The precedent that would be set by selling this land in the manner that has been be presented is a danger to public lands everywhere, not just here in Utah. Once land developers find out all it takes is congressional legislation with a fancy misdirected name to get their hands on our land who knows what will come next, a brand new lodge at Willow Lake with a gondola stop?

I call on all of us that use and love our mountains and public land to fight for what is right. Congressional legislation directing the sale of our beloved public lands to a real estate developer is just plain wrong, sets a terrible and very scary precedent. Let your elected officials know how you feel, write letters, donate to organizations like Save Our Canyons and The Winter Wildlands Alliance. Let our federal elected officials know you do not want them introducing or supporting bills such as the now expired Wasatch Range Recreation Access Enhancement Act. Ask them to introduce legislation that will protect our Wasatch mountains from future development. A few thousand phone calls in the span of a couple of weeks will be pretty hard to ignore!

Let’s all cherish our public lands and Stop SkiLink!

Sincerely,
Ross Hager

One of the quickest—and most effective—things you can do to help stop SkiLink is to give your representative a quick call.

Congressman Rob Bishop
(202) 225-0453

Congressman Jason Chaffetz
(202) 225-7751

Senator Orrin Hatch
(202)224-5251

Senator Mike Lee
(202) 224-5444

Congressman Jim Matheson
(202)225-3011

And be sure to let Governor Herbert know that you oppose this project and the detrimental effects it will have on Utah’s great wilderness.
http://governor.utah.gov/goca/form_comment.html

A Comparison of SkiLink and StopSkiLink

brad_rutledgeThis week, we are pleased to feature a guest blog post from Brad Rutledge, a father, husband, triathlete, skier, mountain biker, hiker. In his spare time, Brad runs Rutledge Consulting Group, and he provides PR consulting to the Stop SkiLink coalition. You may contact Brad at brad@rutledgeconsultinggroup.com. If you would like to contribute blog content, please contact us at info@StopSkiLink.org.

If you’re following the controversial SkiLink proposal to sell pristine public lands in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains to Talisker, a private Canadian company, with the intention of building a gondola connecting ski resorts, you’ve likely seen a lot of different information thrown out – some mud-slinging and outright mis-information. Following a recent public forum on SkiLink, I took it upon myself to do some fact checking of the official web properties on both sides of the issue.

The following video is a recording of my journey as I checked out both sides – enjoy.

Stop SkiLink Coalition Grows, Gains Momentum

brad_rutledgeThis week, we are pleased to feature a guest blog post from Brad Rutledge, a father, husband, triathlete, skier, mountain biker, hiker. In his spare time, Brad runs Rutledge Consulting Group, and he provides PR consulting to the Stop SkiLink coalition. You may contact Brad at brad@rutledgeconsultinggroup.com. If you would like to contribute blog content, please contact us at info@StopSkiLink.org.

When I first read the phrase the Stop SkiLink Coalition, I thought: I like the sound of that. I think the phrase came from Jenny Macfarlane in a recent email updating people of the progress that had been made to do what the collation set out to do: stop SkiLink. Becoming an activist is new to me – but I’ve found that when I’m passionate about something, it’s great to have a way to make a difference, and to be a part of something bigger. My friends and I first became aware of this terrible idea called SkiLink when details became public well over a year ago. We were outraged, and like a lot of people, we wanted to do something about it.

We attended the Stop SkiLink rally and fund-raiser back in November 2012, and I was surprised at how many people showed up with a pricey cost of $100 per ticket. It showed we weren’t the only ones who cared about protecting our mountains, and I picked up a yard sign.

This event was led by Jamie Kent and Jenny Macfarlane, and supported by Save Our Canyons and Winter Wildlands Alliance. In other words, it was a group of people who really care about protecting the Wasatch Mountains, teaming up with organizations with missions that align. Cool.

I have also been pleased by all of the businesses that are a part of a growing collation, including the most outspoken and influential to date: Black Diamond and its CEO, Peter Metcalf. You can view a list of businesses that are passionate about stopping SkiLink by clicking the “Who We Are” link above.

While it makes sense that people living closest to our Wasatch Mountains would care the most, I am learning there are people all across the country that care about protecting our mountains as well. For example, St. Louis-based Ryan Hanlon of GebbsTV is a powerful new member of the collation, and we’re thrilled to have him. He heard about SkiLink and wanted to do something about it, so earlier this year, he brought cameras with him from the mid-west to capture some amazing footage to tell the story about what this battle is about.

Ryan and GebbsTV are producing a video about SkiLink, which should be fantastic! Below is a clip of an interview with Dave Grissom of Salt Lake City-based outdoor gear company Voile— one of the many voices that contributed to the upcoming film. Enjoy the clip, as Dave provides a good overview of the SkiLink project and many of the things at risk. He has a great line: Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Thank you, Dave and Ryan!

And just to wrap up on my coalition momentum theme, you’re reading this blog on the StopSkiLink.org site, put together independently by brothers Brett and Jacob Crockett. As a coalition, I don’t think we’re as much about stopping things as we are about coming together to protect wild and pristine places.

Dave Grissom on SkiLink from GEBBS on Vimeo.

Join in the SkiLink Discussion!

Please plan on attending a SkiLink discussion, sponsored by the Park City Area Project for Deeper Understanding (with the Park City Sunrise Rotary), on Thursday, February 28, 2013, at 7:00 pm, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Park City (4595 N. Silver Springs Dr., in the Snyderville Basin).

Our friends from Save Our Canyons will be there, together with representatives from Canyons Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort, and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s office. Bring your signs, or pick one up at the event. Get more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/432079553541067/ – we’ll see you there!

SkiLink is not the answer

Mark Menlove

As a former president of the Utah Ski Association and its marketing company, Ski Utah, my allegiance to Utah skiing and to the Wasatch Mountains runs deep. That allegiance compels me to write in firm opposition to a legislative proposal to force the sale of public lands to a Canadian development company in order to facilitate a gondola known as SkiLink.

Read the full article here.

City Weekly: Broken Link

It is almost as if Ted Wilson hasn’t even seen the map of where SkiLink begins. You can’t look at the map and say, with a straight face, that SkiLink is a viable transportation solution.

“Wilson says he kept returning to the idea that every person riding SkiLink represented a person who wasn’t in a car. … Because SkiLink could fundamentally improve the way Wasatch residents access their mountains, Wilson decided in July 2011 to accept the lobbying job at Talisker.”

I’m not sure how SkiLink fundamentally improves how I access Big Cottonwood Canyon, but I certainly won’t be driving to Park City, paying $100 for a Canyons lift ticket, taking 4-5 lifts and groomers, and then hopping on SkiLink to get over to Solitude. Yes, we support a comprehensive and thoughtful transportation plan in the Cottonwood Canyons. No, SkiLink is not that plan or part of that plan.

You can read Carl Fisher’s excellent thoughts, and Ted Wilson’s deluded visions here, the cover story of this week’s City Weekly.

Outside Magazine Hears from Peter Metcalf

‎”Contrary to what its boosters would have you believe, SkiLink, which is currently prohibited by U.S. Forest Service and Salt Lake City master plans, would not be a meaningful solution to easing traffic and congestion between Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons.”

You can read his article here. Thanks again, Peter Metcalf, and Black Diamond Equipment Ltd, for your unceasing efforts to preserve the Wasatch.

SkiLink… Or, How I stopped skiing and learned to love riding lifts

SkiLink is a proposed “transportation system” between two Utah resorts (Canyons and Solitude Mountain Resort). Creatively pitched as a mode of transportation, rather than a ski area expansion (resorts are known for elaborate PR schemes) in a failed attempt to soften the blow to locals who cherish the wildness and beauty of the Wasatch Range. With 3″ of fresh powder, a couple of us decided to fork over our hard earned cash ($96/person) to witness the idiosyncrasies of the proposed “transportation lift” nestled high above the mansions of “The Colony,” the exclusive gated community & terminus (or starting point) of SkiLink.

***Editors Note: No powder was harmed, or even touched during the filming of this video.