“What are we doing here?” Op-ed on Parley’s

In Utah, it can be difficult to stay optimistic and avoid feeling burnt out and defeated over the constant threats towards our health and quality of life. One of the things that keeps us motivated at UPHE is seeing and hearing from others who get it. A letter in the Tribune last week reminded us that we are not alone in this fight for a cleaner and better future for Utah. 

We know that there is widespread, nearly unanimous, opposition when it comes to the proposed limestone mine in Parley’s Canyon. Millie Fletcher, in a moving letter, writes of a variety of ongoing threats on our air quality, and therefore health, and urges to not allow a mine in a popular recreation area to be on the list. 

“The quality of our lives here is already compromised. Our unique geography invites winter inversions that trap harmful pollutants. We are threatened by drought and wildfires. Our valley lakes, the ones with toxic sediment settled into the lake beds, are drying up. We have three huge gravel pits devouring the Wasatch Foothills; one at the Point of the Mountain, another above Wasatch Boulevard, and another in North Salt Lake. We have uncontrolled and irresponsible development voraciously eating up the ground on which we once grew wheat. An inland port will increase pollution and threaten wildlife.

“What are we doing here? What are our goals and values? Never mind thinking seven generations out. Given current forces, that seems to be far too much to ask. Let’s think just now about those of us living and rearing children here at this very moment. Maybe with concerted effort, careful attention and important conversations with our representatives and neighbors, we can find a common sense, viable solution to these threats to our health and quality of life.

The mine would not only ruin the appeal of a popular recreation haven for local residents and tourists, but is sure to exacerbate our current air pollution problem. Already facing increased dust pollution from the drought and shrinking Great Salt Lake, we can not afford to add to the problem. 

Tree Farm, the Parley’s mine proponent, is intent on profiting while the public suffers. They are arguing the Salt Lake County Council’s decision to block the mine and any new mining in forestry and recreation areas in court. 

Read the full op-ed here.

We are thankful for all of our supporters, and all of those who share our vision for a better Utah.