Thursday, January 23, 2014

Whats next for the Wasatch? Cough, Cough

With another dry year in tow and high pressure dominating the west our inversion friend is back, rearing his ugly face for all to see. Change is tuff here in Utah, left wing problems are hard to grasp by the right majority. It seems that at the rate we are going, with air quality in the valley seemingly only worsening by the day, that change will only come when the majority physically stop breathing. It is a sad tale indeed, Salt Lake City currently has particulate levels in the air more than three times the acceptable federal limit and the state still fails to make an effort to comply.

During busy ski days in the cottonwood canyons, particularly Little Cottonwood Canyon, the canyons become choked with traffic, so much so that cars are often at a dead stop, sitting in no stopping areas underneath avalanche paths. Public transport by bus exists but most folks drive due to the ease of doing so.

No politician wants to be the guys to take away freedoms and spend more money. But in some instances this may be the only way to solve our problems. Over 50% of our pollution comes from the cars we drive every day yet no one seems to be driving any less. Ski resorts want people to be able to drive to their mountains to make it as easy possible for people to come up and avoid having skiers go elsewhere.

OK, listen up folks, here is the solution to all of our problems: Dramatically expand the public transportation system along the Wasatch Front, including the alignment of a train loop up Little Cottonwood Canyon and continuing on through Mt Wolverine to Brighton and again under ground to Park City, Kimbal Junction and back to Salt Lake City passing under Parleys summit. Inner-connect, done. To help encourage use and help pay for the project the state should tax gasoline and diesel to a greater extent, and during periods of inversion and poor air quality tax fuel at even greater rate and limit the fuel that can be sold at all.

Many Utahans hardly have any ground to gripe if fuel costs were to rise as the right wing norm of fashionably driving massive fuel guzzling trucks shows people here are willing to pay more to get around anyway. Right now the outdoor retailers show is happening here in Salt Lake, as it usually does each winter.

This year everyone here to see the new products of the outdoor industry are being treated to the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day courtesy of the sheer complacency to local officials. At some point the economy will start to suffer due to these attitudes and lack of action. Alternatively, the Wasatch Front could be an example for the rest of the country to follow if major initiatives are followed.

If you don’t believe mans impact on the environment, come here to Salt Lake during the inversion and you can see first hand what comes out of your tail-pipe!

Help support Utah Backcountry Skiing with a purchase from...!