Watershed Protection

Watershed protection is part of the ongoing operations and stewardship of natural resources for ski areas on National Forest System lands and private property. Ski areas recognize and value their ongoing partnership with water quality agencies and public land managers as part of the obligation of their location at the head of watersheds which provide drinking water to the Wasatch Front.  Each approval decision for ski area improvements is accompanied by analysis of the potential effects on erosion, stream channel stability, water quality protection and other watershed values.

Ski areas and other land uses in the canyon are managed by regulations administered by the US Forest Service and Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities Watershed Management. Both agencies have personnel trained in observing and protecting the watershed and water quality. Ski areas operating on National Forest lands are required to have erosion control and revegetation efforts documented in each annual operating plan.

Best Management Practices have been developed by the Forest Service using local expertise and techniques derived from water quality protection at Lake Tahoe and ski areas operating in the Denver metro region watershed of Colorado. Best Management Practices would be incorporated in any interconnect plan or proposal.

Alta/Snowbird and Brighton/Solitude currently have a ticket policy and interconnections of lifts and ski runs. These connections were made under the terms of the water quality regulations and watershed protection values of the U.S. Forest Service. No measurable effect on the watershed were predicted nor occurred as a result of these interconnections.