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Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow

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It doesn't take a prophet to predict that environmental and practical pressure will increase dramatically in the seven majestic canyons to the east of Salt Lake County as the Utah population expands in coming decades.

The canyons are the community's lifeblood. They supply most of the water used in the Salt Lake Valley. They are also a recreation Mecca with enormous economic impact. It is essential they be managed wisely and not abused.

It is why KSL welcomes the completion of the Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow project facilitated recently by Envision Utah and involving as many as 16,000 voices in the community. The result is a vision for the canyons that preserves them primarily in a natural condition "as part of a high- functioning watershed and regional ecosystem" that "respects private property rights" and welcomes visitors "year-round with fast, reliable and convenient public transportation."

The study, in KSL's view, makes workable recommendations about land use, recreation and transportation that can be used as valley communities plan for the future. It will be especially significant as Salt Lake County moves ahead with updating its 20-year master plan.

The Wasatch Mountains are a wondrous natural treasure. Only realistic long-term planning will preserve their critical ecological role along with their appealing luster.

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