The Central Wasatch Commission is an interlocal governmental entity. Its work is outlined through the Mountain Accord charter, which proposed plans to address four major issues: transportation, economy, recreation, and environment in the Central Wasatch Mountains. The Mountain Accord charter also called for the creation of a governmental entity to coordinate among the many stakeholders in the Central Wasatch Mountains, and to carry out the plans for each of the four issue areas, identified in the Mountain Accord charter. Its projects fall under each of these four issue areas.
Big Cottonwood Canyon Mobility Action Plan (BCC MAP)
In summer 2022, the Central Wasatch Commission released a request for proposals for the Big Cottonwood Canyon Mobility Action Plan (BCC MAP). The plan will identify and develop strategies that will guide multi-modal transportation investments for Big Cottonwood Canyon—expanding sustainable transportation choices that support positive environmental, social, and economic outcomes. The BCC MAP will build upon foundational documents and leverage public and stakeholder input, new and emerging technologies, and enhanced transit options to identify near- and long-term projects, policies, funding sources, and corresponding next steps that activate further investment—by the Central Wasatch Commission, its member jurisdictions, and other jurisdictional partners—in a year-round mobility system serving all users of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Learn more here.
Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act
In its most current form, the CWNCRA is a locally driven, consensus-based bill aimed at protecting the sources of our drinking water, preserving recreational opportunities for the future, and ensuring enjoyment of the Central Wasatch Mountains in the face of pressures from a growing population.
Drafts of the legislation, including the most current draft, reflect proposed changes being considered. The CWC engages the public for comment and works with stakeholders to attempt to resolve components of the legislation in a consensus-based approach. Subsequent drafts of legislation will be made available for public review, and any action on the draft legislation by the CWC will be noted accordingly. Read the legislation and more about the process here.
In 2015, the Mountain Accord environmental systems group determined that there wasn’t an easily accessible or centralized hub of information about the ecology of the Central Wasatch. Members of the environmental systems group asserted that without access to information about the environmental conditions in the Wasatch, it would be difficult to make decisions about how to recreate, travel, develop, and protect the Central Wasatch Mountains. This assertion served at the foundational concept in the development of the Environmental Dashboard, which, upon its completion, will serve as a centralized access point for information specific to several environmental indicators in the the Central Wasatch Mountain Range. The members of the environmental systems group under Mountain Accord in 2015, when the concept for the Dashboard was drafted, and the Central Wasatch Commission, now, envision the Dashboard serving as a tool for policy makers, technical users, other stakeholders, and the public as each user group evaluates impacts in future planning discussions specific to the Central Wasatch Mountains. Read more about the Dashboard here.
Following the 2019 retreat of the Central Wasatch Commission Board, the Commission moved to create three committees that would focus on issues pertaining to the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act and land tenure issues in the Central Wasatch, transportation issues to consider a model for a broader mountain transportation system, and short-term projects that would help further the goals of the Central Wasatch Commission by identifying projects that implement transportation and transit solutions, protect the ecosystems that originate in the Central Wasatch, steward recreational access, and sustain the economic viability of the Cottonwood Canyons. Learn more here.
In early 2021, the Central Wasatch Commission released a request for proposals for a visitor-use study for the Central Wasatch mountains. Ultimately this project will provide results to help manage the amounts and types of use to achieve desired conditions. Specifically, the results of this project will provide information for managers and associated decision makers to assist in the management of each Canyon prescriptively for different physical, ecological, and social conditions, to plan for and achieve an ideal transportation system, increase recreation quality, appropriately distribute use, and plan for increased recreational visitation while preserving desired conditions. Learn more here.
Other Mountain Transportation Work
The Central Wasatch Commission actively participates in mountain transportation projects to achieve transportation solutions in the Central Wasatch. Often suggested by the Central Wasatch Commission Stakeholders Council, other groups, or the public, these projects are within the Commission’s jurisdictional boundaries and support the work laid out in the Mountain Accord Charter. Current and past projects include:
Ski bus service