September Letter from the CWC
During each monthly public meeting, the CWC Executive Director delivers a staff report to the Commission on all that CWC staff accomplished or made progress with during the preceding month. Please see below for the September report. By sharing these reports with you through the website, we hope to continue the tradition of transparency and engagement
In September, the Central Wasatch Commission staff released the next draft of Congressional legislation, gathered public comments, hosted three community involvement workshops, worked with its transportation partners on short-term transportation solutions, made progress with the Environmental Dashboard, met with its Stakeholders Council, and continued interaction and communication with Central Wasatch Mountain interests, community groups, and individuals. Additionally, CWC was asked to host a site tour with members from the State’s Natural Resources Interim Committee and Federalism Commission. Director Becker and Chair McCandless had the opportunity to speak with the Federalism Commission at their September meeting. Kaye Michelson began work with the Central Wasatch Commission as an Office Manager, and member jurisdictions continue making respective annual contributions to the Central Wasatch Commission.
During the September Stakeholders Council meeting, updates were provided by the Millcreek Canyon Shuttle Committee and the Capacity Committee. Most of the September meeting was dedicated to the facilitated discussion and comment period for the latest draft of the CWNCRA.
Stakeholder Brian Hutchinson updated the Stakeholders Council on the progress of Millcreek Canyon Shuttle subcommittee. It was decided that a pilot shuttle program was not feasible at this time. However, there are some initial steps that could be made to allow for a future pilot shuttle program. These steps are being identified and prioritized. The group, including Forest Service and Salt Lake County, are interested in pursuing a Federal Lands Access Program grant.
Dr. Bricker reported that the Capacity Committee was formed during the August Stakeholders Council meeting. There were 17 members interested in participating. They held their first meeting on August 28 and are scheduled to meet the fourth Wednesday of every month from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Metro 32 Water facility. At the first meeting, they discussed what the study might entail. Dr. Bricker was tasked with putting a proposal together for the next steps, which will be presented at the next meeting.
The Stakeholders Council meetings are the third Wednesday of every month from 3-5 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall in the Community Room. These meetings are open to the public, and we encourage you to attend. If you would like to listen to these meetings, you may access the each meeting recording on the Utah Public Notice website.
Over the past few weeks CWC and partner agencies have pursued several short-term transportation solutions for this upcoming season. One of those options was to invest in enhanced bus service in the Cottonwood Canyons. UTA would absorb the majority of the funding, but other funding was needed to fill the gap.CWC worked with its partners to find short-term, interim funding to fill the immediate gap to provide improved bus service for the coming winter. Additional congestion management strategies have been developed and are being considered for this upcoming season. CWC staff is still pursuing additional short-term strategies with partner agencies.
Overview Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Area Act
The 30 day comment period concluded on September 19th. Approximately 500 comments were made on the 4th draft of the legislation. Staff worked to provide comment to each response. Staff also hosted three facilitated discussions to solicit comments about the latest draft. Two open houses were hosted at Cottonwood Heights City Hall and one was hosted at Park City High School. On Monday, September 16th, CWC hosted a site tour of the Central Wasatch for the Natural Resources Interim Committee and Federalism Commission. On September 19, the CWC presented the proposed draft Congressional legislation and participated in discussion with the Federalism Commission.
As per the scope of work for phase one of the Environmental Dashboard project, Jim Ehleringer and his team of biologists, Mary Perndergast from the Wild Utah Project, and Susan Bush from the University of Utah worked to update the committees of technical experts for each of the indicator groups that comprise the Environmental Dashboard: Soil, Water, Air, Plants and Wildlife, and Ecosystems. Work sessions with the technical committees have been set up to review the datasets for each indicator. Following those work sessions, the project team including Phoebe McNeally, Jim Ehleringer, and CWC staff will meet to determine the scope and timeline for phase 2 of the project, which will be presented to the Commission during its regular January meeting.
Kaye Mickelson started with the CWC as the new Office Manager. Staff are working to put together the CWC board retreat on November 7th-8th. Additional GRAMA requests have been responded to, public comments have been recorded and responses prepared, and administrative costs have been carefully monitored. CWC staff took steps to hire a Utah-based government affairs consultant. Those roles should be filled in the coming weeks, pending Commission action.
CWC staff will deliver this report to the full Commission during the September public meeting, happening Monday, October 7th, 4:00 — 6:00 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. We hope to see you there.
Chris, Ralph, Blake, Lindsey, Kaye, and Carly