Statement Regarding Alta Ski Lifts and the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area


Mountain Accord and HR 5718 (Congressman Chaffetz, 2016) included an agreed-upon compromise agreement to address Grizzly Gulch and Alta Ski Resort, which Alta Ski Lifts decided to withdraw from in 2018. The Central Wasatch Commission (CWC) respects the decision of Alta Ski Lifts to withdraw from that Agreement.


Since June 2018, the CWC has continuously sought a new solution that would include Alta Ski Lifts in the Central Wasatch National and Conservation Area Act (CWNCRA) and the legislatively authorized land exchanges. Many proposals put forth by stakeholders from Alta Ski Lifts, Save Our Canyons, Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, Friends of Alta, Town of Alta, Salt Lake City Public Utilities, the CWC and others were aimed at finding a new solution. To date, an agreement has not been achieved that was tenable for all stakeholders involved.


Throughout these efforts, the parties, including Alta Ski Lifts, agreed in discussion and writing that a fall-back, acceptable alternative would be to remove Alta Ski Lifts from the CWNCRA and allow Alta Ski Lifts to pursue its expansion proposals through existing administrative processes, thereby leaving Alta Ski Lifts harmless in the proposed legislation. Action by the CWC on November 19, 2018 requested the Utah Congressional Delegation and Congress to pursue legislation consistent with the Alta Ski Lifts exclusion from the CWNCRA, and to continue to seek a solution to the Alta Ski Lifts-Grizzly Gulch issue. The CWC remains committed to finding a solution with all parties.


Recent statements from Alta Ski Lifts express a false narrative that the decision to leave Alta Ski Lifts out of the legislation, and subsequently, out of the land exchanges, was motivated by a deliberate desire to punish Alta Ski Lifts. To the contrary, the CWC seeks to respect all parties and seek solutions fair to the parties and to the goal of protecting the Central Wasatch Mountains for its many wonderful qualities and uses.


We look forward to ongoing discussions with Alta Ski Lifts, State, local and private interests, our Utah Congressional Delegation,  and the many stakeholders that call the Central Wasatch home.


Read the CWNCRA Removal Request From Alta Ski Lifts

View the Chronology of Efforts to Address Alta Ski Lifts

View the 11/15 Map of the CWNCRA, without Alta

View the Magnified 11/15 Map of the CWNCRA, without Alta



Chris McCandless

CWC Chair, Sandy City Council Member

Ralph Becker

CWC Executive Director

One thought on “Statement Regarding Alta Ski Lifts and the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area”

  1. Dan Murray says:

    I have observed proposals and attended public meetings for over 3 years, first during Mountain Accord and then the Central Wasatch Commission. Alta has been non-committal throughout this entire process. No it appears that they want all the benefits the public lands have to offer without offering anything in return (i.e. have their cake and eat it too). They were very disingenuous with their statement (perhaps a little Trump worship going on here). If they’re not willing to deal in good faith, then they should be left out of the CWNCRA process and work with the Forest Service and other governing bodies through the prescribed frameworks.

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