Conservation or recreation?
I have the unfortunate duty of writing today to express my unbelievable sadness with the outcome of what was to be the Bonanza Flat Conservation Area. In no way is this a “conservation area.” It is being developed as a destination recreation area. Utah Open Lands said it best: “We truly are trying to make this into an incredible recreational hub.” My words cannot express my incredible disappointment with Park City’s product. There was a real opportunity to protect and conserve this wild area. This is why I donated. That’s why I persuaded others to donate. We could actually Save Bonanza Flat. It’s not being “saved.” It is now being developed. This designed product is showing, teaching and demonstrating a false narrative of what conservation really is.
Does every protected area, every conserved area need recreation introduced into it? Do we need new bulldozed trails through virgin forests, through wildlife habitat and through previously unknown areas? How many more trees must be toppled for mountain biking and winter grooming? Should we really be bulldozing trails to every lake? How many miles of fencing should we construct so moose cannot have freedom of movement? Should we just build more trailheads where ones never exited? Perhaps we can create the greatest gravity bike and car shuttle location in the West? Or … should we just have conserved the area?
So in the end, I ask two things for everyone and Park City leadership to consider: Please take a pause on all the new “developments” and rethink what conservation truly is. Do we need to create, develop and bulldoze our way to a “recreation hub?”
Or perhaps the easier one: Admit conservation was never intended and change the name to reflect what has actually been created; The Bonanza Flat Recreation Area.
Write in Cooke
Thomas Cooke is the perfect (and refreshing) choice for Park City Board of Education District 2. If you live in Ranch Place, Silver Summit, Trailside, Mountain Ranch, Old Ranch Road, Snyders Mill, Park Meadows North or Highland Estates, please write in Thomas Cooke on your ballot for Park City school board!
I met Thomas years ago while I was on the Summit County Council. Thomas was dogged in his pursuit of a position on either the Rec District or Planning Commission. I urged him not to give up. Luckily for the community, he didn’t and has proven himself to be an exemplary planning commissioner. While I don’t always agree with his decisions (and who does?), I always appreciate his thoughtfulness, calm demeanor, inclusive attitude and well-reasoned approach to complicated issues. And Thomas is a team player — a trait that I have come to admire more and more these days!
Please write in Thomas Cooke for this seat. And the best part? If you can’t remember his whole name or how to spell it, no worries! All you have to do is remember enough for the county clerk to ascertain your intent!
What really matters
I’d like to thank all the people in this community for their amazing generosity and commitment in support of land conservation. People here get it: If we want to maintain the open spaces, wildlife habitat and human habitat, we have to help pay for them.
Our ballots this year provide us another opportunity to help fund things that enhance our lives in Summit County. The Recreation Arts and Parks (RAP) tax can’t be used to acquire open space, but it does help build trails once land is saved.
Lots of us have found solace during the pandemic on our shared open spaces, but anyone who has watched a film, read a book or listened to music has benefited from the talent and creativity of artists. The RAP tax provides important support for local nonprofit groups that engage artists and bring their work to our community.
These last six months have forced us to consider what really matters in our lives: good health, family, fresh air and community. Please vote YES on Proposition 21 to reauthorize the RAP tax, in support of the many good things it provides.
Summit Land Conservancy executive director
Love and commitment
I am a lucky lady! I was knocking on death’s door!
I was taken to the Park City Hospital emergency room. I was placed in the ICU unit. I had sepsis and pneumonia. The doctors, the nurses, the technicians and all of the hospital staff took meticulous care of me. I know the love and commitment of the Park City Hospital staff is the reason I am here to live another day. Thank you to Park City Hospital!
Holly A. Carlin
An opinion is just that
Amy Roberts writes in her opinion column (“With gratitude”) in The Park Record’s Sept. 23-25 edition of “the unbelievable hypocrisy of the Republican-controlled Senate” for their refusing to advance President Obama’s nominee for the open Justice Scalia seat in an election year while indicating that they would act on President Trump’s nominee for Justice Ginsburg’s seat. She of course fails to point out the hypocrisy of the Democrats who demanded a vote then and are now demanding there not be a vote. Ms. Roberts is entitled to her opinions on this subject which clearly align with the ideology and politics of the left, but they are just that — opinions and they don’t make her position a correct one.
I don’t know Teri Orr.
I have seen her on the Deer Valley stage for over a decade and read about her volunteer efforts trying to make a difference in this community. Her column has been a “must read.” This week is perfect … she talks about preparing for the New Year ahead, mentioning the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur and what it means … tying in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong fight for women’s rights and how this could have made a huge difference in her own life as she struggled early on before she brought her two kids to Park City … and simply how each of us should process the passage of time and reflect on the job ahead … all with special feelings and gratitude for the past.
A philosopher, a teacher, a parent and a friend, she reminds us of all that’s good and works … and how special it can be to live in this community that seems to genuinely care about helping others. There’s a group of us. Call us the “FLUTES” (Floridians Living in Utah in The Summer). We love your summer weather and the healthy “outdoorsiness” of it all. But there is also a Western sensibility … a friendliness that’s infectious. We don’t hear horns honking for three to four months.
Teri seems to capture that special quality in her writing and her work. And she can “turn a phrase” brilliantly.
Boca Raton, Florida