Carving new mines in the canyons is intolerable

UPHE founder and board president Dr. Brain Moench wrote an excellent op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune arguing against the idea that a new mine in Parley’s Canyon would be beneficial. The Wasatch Mountains are a cherished attribute of the Salt Lake area, and bulldozing and blasting it should not be tolerated. 

“Wealthy property owner Jesse Lassley and Granite Construction, a multi-billion dollar California mining company listed on the NYSE, are attempting to force-feed Salt Lake County residents the mother of all local environmental disasters by bulldozing and blasting in the heart of Parleys Canyon, a gigantic limestone quarry/gravel pit.

According to the Tribune, Lassley recently sold his own home nearby while quietly purchasing 634 acres in the canyon (an area one third as large as the cross section of the Kennecott open pit) and didn’t disclose to any of his neighbors his intent to carve it all into a gigantic hole in the mountainside near Mt. Aire. This was also a surprise to every state and local government agency involved in permitting such a mine” Dr. Moench writes. 

Salt Lake County residents clearly see through mine proprietors false claims of “responsible” stewardship of the land. “At meetings before two different Salt Lake County Planning Commissions, every commenter spoke against the mine.”

“There are dozens of active aggregate mines throughout the Wasatch Front, including the much smaller mine near the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, whose dust already plagues residents near the canyon. Existing mines are closer to just about every potential site of large future building projects or roadways. The mine would be a constant source of fugitive dust exacerbated by frequent Parley’s Canyon winds, and it would decimate and contaminate critical watershed and wildlife habitat. The only place worse for a mine might be the top of Mt. Olympus” Moench, M.D. argues.

Read the full op-ed here.

The proposed mine area, highlighted in yellow, in Parley’s Canyon.