Water Discrimination on the East Bench and in the Canyons?

June 9, 2022

Dear fellow Citizens,

Are Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, and the State of Utah discriminating against residents in our Area?

In the 2020 election, Constitutional Amendment D, Municipal Water Resources, was passed by the voters and became law. This amendment finally guaranteed permanent year-round water service to tens of thousands of residents along the East bench. In fact, Salt Lake City and the East bench Mayors proclaimed it is the right thing to do to ensure “fairness”.

However, it appears that one group of County residents are being discriminated against and are left out of this act of “fairness”.

Many year-round residents living in the Cottonwood Canyons are not guaranteed the same water service that others in Salt Lake County and across the state enjoy. These residents all live in our House District 41.

We have residents, who for several months each year, have no culinary water in their taps and no water in their fire hydrants. This is hard to imagine in 2022, in the most populous county in the State.

This is unacceptable. It is a public health and safety issue that must be remedied quickly.

To compound this outrageous situation, these homes and residents are nestled in areas that are listed as high and extreme wildfire danger.

This situation is dangerous, intolerable, and likely illegal. Our elected officials and public servants have been "looking the other way” for far too long.

We need common-sense solutions. Resolving this issue is possible, but it will require accurate water data, difficult conversations, and immediate action.

I propose the following measures:

Uncover the true data about our Water Supply. I will work with the state engineer to get to the bottom of our water data.
● Invite Canyon residents and elected officials to meet with the legislature to finally bring an end to this unfair situation.
Require Salt Lake City to renegotiate its water contracts with canyon residents to ensure year-round, permanent water service and fair treatment.
● If necessary, I will introduce legislation to change water law to bring about this resolution.

I would like to hear your comments and suggestions, please email me at [email protected]

Vote Gary Sandberg for House District 41, your Common Sense Conservative Choice.

Sincerely,

W. Gary Sandberg
Candidate for Utah House of Representatives District 41

Wildfire Danger on the East Bench and in the Canyons

May 31, 2022

Dear fellow Citizens,

Just six months ago, the disastrous Marshall fire near Boulder, Colorado moved very quickly across miles of urban wildland interface, driven by high winds. Nothing could be done to stop it. Over a thousand homes burned down, in the dead of winter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Fire

Could this happen in Salt Lake County? Yes. Unfortunately, key factors are in place that would encourage it. https://www.deseret.com/2021/12/31/22861430/winter-wildfires-why-now

● Prolonged drought
● Low precipitation levels
● Poor forest management techniques
● Lack of defensible spaces

Much of District 41's East Bench foothills and Cottonwood Canyons are listed as extreme fire danger, literally a tinderbox. Look at the interactive fire risk map of the Utah State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands: https://wildfirerisk.utah.gov/Map/Public.

Although hard to imagine, destructive wildfires along our east bench and in our Wasatch Canyons become more likely every year.

It appears our elected leaders have let us down. Instead of proactive, common-sense steps to reduce the danger of a catastrophic fire, they have allowed lives, homes, and our precious resources to be put at extreme risk.

We have reached our tipping point. We need common-sense solutions to reduce our fire dangers.

I propose the following measures:

● Clear and specific fire mitigation plans. Unfortunately, Salt Lake County’s recent Canyons General Plan hardly mentions wildfire and provides no plans for mitigating it.
● A fuel reduction program to be implemented immediately for our foothills and canyons to remove and reduce fuel loads. Under current conditions, controlled burns are extremely dangerous. Instead, we need to cut and remove underbrush, dead and down trees, and implement targeted grazing.
● Defensible Spaces around homes for residents in the canyons and foothills to protect homes
● Evacuation Plans to instruct residents how to evacuate and where to go.
● Ensure adequate water and pressure in fire hydrants year-round, also up in the canyon communities.

Common sense and the facts show we cannot wait any longer.

I will work to ensure we have the state resources and local support to do this difficult job now before it is too late.

Vote Gary Sandberg for House District 41, your Common Sense Conservative Choice.

I would like to hear your comments and suggestions, please email me at [email protected]

Sincerely,

W. Gary Sandberg
Candidate for Utah House of Representatives District 41

End the Traffic Jams on Wasatch Boulevard and the Canyons

May 24, 2022

Dear fellow Citizens,

As a father and grandfather, living near our Wasatch Canyons, my family has enjoyed wonderful outdoor experiences within minutes of our home.

But the frequent and unacceptable traffic jams on Wasatch Boulevard and up the canyons frustrate canyon visitors and disturb the peace of our precious neighborhoods.

I, along with many of you, had hoped that the numerous studies regarding transportation and recreation in the Wasatch over the last several years would provide relief. There was the $10 million Mountain Accord and more recently UDOT was granted $50 million to conduct an EIS (Environmental Impact Study) to question how to alleviate crowding on Wasatch Blvd and Little Cottonwood Canyon Road without even addressing traffic destined for Big Cottonwood.

After tens of millions of dollars spent, we still see no solutions for transportation issues in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.

However, over the past year or so, I watched as
- PCMR (Park City Mountain Resort) initiated a reservation system to address crowd control for its ski slopes and parking.
- Zion National Park rolled out a reservation system.
- Arches National Park rolled out a reservation system.
- Alta Ski Resort implemented a reservation system.

It is proven that reservation systems work and have been successfully implemented in resort areas around the world.

We should:
- Stop wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on more studies and consultants.
- Scrap the hundreds of millions of dollars for a gondola limited only to Little Cottonwood Canyon.
- Remove the environmentally disastrous recommendation to widen Wasatch Blvd. and State Hwy. 210 up Little Cottonwood.

My common sense proposal:
1. Immediately work toward implementing a reservation system at each of the four ski resorts.
2. Implement a summer reservation system at the popular trailheads.
3. Let's consider additional alternatives which work for all resorts and roadways.

This proposal is simple, very low cost, and the public has already shown they will accept reservation systems if they protect our natural resources, improve the visitor experience and prevent traffic jams.

If, for example, I want to take my grandkids skiing one weekend at Snowbird, I simply go online to reserve my spots. If Snowbird is full, I can try another resort or simply choose another form of recreation. Highly preferable to sitting for hours in the red snake, polluting in an idling car, listening to impatient grandchildren!

I would like to hear from you, our citizens, how you feel about this proposal and also what other suggestions you might have. Please email me at [email protected]

Let's stop this wasteful taxpayer spending on more studies and expensive consultants.

We need relief now: for our neighborhoods, tourists, roadways, and canyons.

Sincerely,

W. Gary Sandberg
Candidate for Utah House of Representatives District 41