Your editorial of Dec. 10 on the proposed use of Wasatch State Park land for a lavish golf resort was a superb treatment of the issue. The concerns you raise are entirely on target.

The meeting that the State Parks and Recreation Commission held recently in Midway showed how widely and deeply these concerns are shared by residents of Heber Valley.The sentiment of the large crowd ran heavily against the resort. In fact, most of those who spoke in favor of the resort came from Salt Lake and Utah counties, not Wasatch County.

The crowd was not amused by the proponent who claimed the resort would "turn Heber Valley into a paradise." The people here know a paradise when they see one, and they don't want their paradise spoiled with a fancy playground for the rich and super rich.

Heber Valley is already growing at a rate that makes most of its citizens uneasy. One obstacle that has nothing to do with the merits of the resort itself is the absence of a carefully prepared, publicly debated land-use plan for the valley.

The County Commission is derelict to even consider the resort proposal until the commission has developed such a plan. Historically, many Utah communities have lagged badly in sound zoning practices, and this controversy simply highlights the problem.

Major new assaults on the pastoral quality of this valley can never be justified in the absence of such a master plan.

Furthermore, approval of the resort would inevitably heighten the political pressure for expanding the Provo Canyon highway into four lanes all the way from the south fork east to Heber.

The direct costs to the state would be staggering, not to mention the further devastation to the canyon environment and the fishing waters.

The most prudent move the state could make would be the long-overdue nine-hole addition to the Wasatch State Park golf course to make two 18s. If play later showed an additional course were justified, the state or county should build it.

Utah does not need a back-door gift of a luxury golf course whose upkeep might well prove too costly for the state to swallow. (Were that so, would we then wind up selling the course back to the promoters for nickels on the dollar?)

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The inept way the resort proposal has been handled politically smacks of a brazen land grab, with the state asked to trade land valued at $18 million for a $7 million golf course.

The tranquility of Heber Valley is at stake, and the residents have now shown they will not be easily intimidated by the carpetbaggers.

Carol and Frank Mensel

Heber City

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