The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club has joined the fight against a proposed 1,320-acre land swap between Snowbasin ski resort and the Forest Service.
Although it has no specific plans to fight the trade, the environmental group does want people to know that it does not support the proposal, said Sierra Club member Dan Schroeder of Ogden."Our main concern is that our civic leaders are trying to present this as something that is non-controversial. We'll all sleep better if we let people know this is not true," he said.
While the group does not oppose the temporary use of public land at Snowbasin for the 2002 Winter Olympics, it does object to any efforts to trade or sell public land for development of a private resort.
A land swap bill proposed by Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, would give the Forest Service approximately 4,000 acres in return for the Snowbasin land. The measure has passed the Senate and now is in a joint conference committee, which will work out differences between Senate and House versions.
Opponents are concerned about resort owner Earl Holding's plans to put hotels, condominiums, a golf course and more than 1,000 private residences on the land.
"We care about this place and what it will be like in 30 years, or 50 years from now," Schroeder said. "If people like Jim Hansen keep giving up a little here and a little there, it's going to become another Los Angeles."