We now have once in a lifetime chance to save Bonanza Flats from being developed into a luxury resort and instead turn it into open space for all of us to enjoy forever. If you're not familiar with the campaign to save the 1,350 acres just outside of Park City and directly adjacent to my neighborhood of Brighton Estates, please read more about it here: Save Bonanza Flats. You can also read more through the Salt Lake Tribune and the Park Record.
In the November 2016 election, the city of Park City bonded for $25 million to purchase the parcel as open space and has agreed to buy the land from Redus LLC, a Wells Fargo subsidiary, for $38 million. Park City is working along with Utah Open Lands to raise the additional $13 million to finish the purchase. We must raise that money soon and Park City has an initial deadline of March 15th to continue with the purchase agreement.
Protecting Bonanza Flats as open space will do a number of things for us as a community. First, it will maintain the quality of this valley and stop development - no major construction project, no giant hotel, it will protect the wildlife, maintain water quality, and preserve this beautiful valley we all love. Second, much of the land we currently recreate on is technically private land - so if you have ever backcountry skied, gone hiking to Bloods Lake, taken walked among the aspens as they changed colors in the fall, you were trespassing. Once it is made into open space we can hike, ski and move about on it without trespassing. Third, saving this land helps preserve water quality for Wasatch and Salt Lake Counties. Pine Creek, which is the very top of the Pine Creek drainage, feeds into Deer Creek Reservoir and from there some of that water is taken out and transported via the Salt Lake Aqueduct into Millcreek. By protecting our valley, we protect the watershed for the Salt Lake Valley.
There are three easy things we need help with to save this beautiful piece of land - contacting county representatives, raising funds, and spreading the word.
1. We need to contact all of the surrounding county and government officials to tell them we support Bonanza Flats and we think their county government should support it and provide funds to the cause. If we can get Summit County, Salt Lake County and Wasatch County to fund a good chunk of the money, we are far more likely to succeed in this endeavor. This week - please email or call ALL of the surrounding county officials to get them to act quickly. Contact all these representatives that aren't from your city or your county too. This is the most important thing you can do to help save Bonanza Flats. Here is a sample email:
Dear Representative, I strongly support the open space purchase and preservation of Bonanza Flats in Wasatch County. I ask that you support the protection of the 1,350 acres of Bonanza Flats and contribute funds towards the purchase of this beautiful piece of land. This area is critical for wildlife, watershed, and ecology. Many people in my community and surrounding areas support this effort to make more open space. Please donate county funds for this effort through Utah Open Lands and support Park City's purchase of the parcel. To learn more go here: http://savebonanzaflats.org/ Thank you.
To contact County Officials, use these email addresses and copy them directly into your To field in your email:
Cottonwood Heights Council kcullimore@ch.utah.gov, mshelton@ch.utah.gov, sbracken@ch.utah.gov, mpeterson@ch.utah.gov, ttyler@ch.utah.gov
Salt Lake County Council JWilson@slco.org, RSnelgrove@slco.org, JBradley@slco.org, ARBradshaw@slco.org, MHJensen@slco.org, ANewton@slco.org, SGranato@slco.org, SLDeBry@slco.org, MBurdick@slco.org, mayor@slco.org
Salt Lake City Council james.rogers@slcgov.com, andrew.johnston@slcgov.com, stan.penfold@slcgov.com, derek.kitchen@slcgov.com, erin.mendenhall@slcgov.com, charlie.luke@slcgov.com, lisa.adams@slcgov.com, council.comments@slcgov.com, mayor@slcgov.com
Sandy Officials sfairbanks@sandy.utah.gov, lsaville@sandy.utah.gov, ssmith@sandy.utah.gov, scowdell@sandy.utah.gov, mbarker@sandy.utah.gov, knicholl@sandy.utah.gov, cmccandless@sandy.utah.gov
Summit County Council countycouncil@summitcounty.org, kcarson@summitcounty.org, rarmstrong@summitcounty.org, dclyde@summitcounty.org, cfrobinson@summitcounty.org, gwright@summitcounty.org, tfisher@summitcounty.org
Wasatch County Officials kcrittenden@wasatch.utah.gov, sfarrell@wasatch.utah.gov, mpetersen@wasatch.utah.gov, dgoode@wasatch.utah.gov, mnelson@wasatch.utah.gov, gmcphie@wasatch.utah.gov, spark@wasatch.utah.gov, Manager@wasatch.utah.gov
2. After you contact your representatives, please donate to the cause. You can donate money through the Utah Open Lands Save Bonanza Flats website. Any amount will help, but please consider this as one of your sizable donations for the year. Remember this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to save this property from being developed. If we can raise the funds and buy the land by March 15th, it will be protected FOREVER.
3. Spread the word! The more information we can get out about this effort, the faster we can raise the money and make sure the land is protected. Follow Utah Open Lands on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Tell your friends, your family, and your neighbors about this. Please forward this letter to others - ask them to contact our representatives and share as much as you can on social media. In order to protect this land, we must act quickly.
Thank you so much for your time, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE contact your representatives this week! And please share this post!