Like Riding Bikes to High-Alpine Swimming Holes? Then Act Now to Help Save Bonanza Flats.
Have you ever stood at the top of Puke Hill and thought about how rad it would be if there were a trail that dropped down to Blood’s or Lackawaxen Lakes? Furthermore, imagine a connection between the Wasatch Crest and the WOW trail – two Wasatch area staple trails, which would make for truly superlative-laden ride options. The good news: this is a very real possibility – the bad news: the potential window for something like this remaining a possibility is quickly coming to a close.
While you may not know it by name, you’re likely already familiar with the Bonanza Flats land parcel. If you’ve ever hiked to Blood’s Lake, Peak 10420, or parked in the Guardsman Pass parking area and imagined your car rolling forward and crashing down to the valley below – this is the land that makes up Bonanza Flats.
Technically speaking, Bonanza Flats is a privately owned 1,350 acre parcel, which includes two high alpine lakes (Blood’s & Lackawaxen), as well as the face of Peak 10420. For comparison, Round Valley is about 700 acres of open space, so imagine a high-alpine Round Valley, that’s nearly double in size. While officially it’s privately held, historically the landowners have allowed recreation access, and it’s a beloved spot for hiking, swimming, and backcountry skiing as well as consists of prime real-estate for future trails and connections given it’s location between the PC Ridgeline, Wasatch State Park, & Big Cottonwood Canyon. Throughout the years though, the land has faced threats of development proposals ranging from golf courses to exclusive gated communities and is currently for sale.
This past November, Park City residents voted for a tax increase that would put up a 25 million dollar bond towards securing the land as open space, as the landowner has agreed to a contract offer with Park City for 38 million dollars. While this was a critical first-step, there is still a 13 million dollar bridge that must be crossed or else the deal falls through and the land is once again available to the highest bidder, who would then be in their right to restrict access and recreation. However, we have the chance to save Bonanza Flats and ensure that the land remains accessible forever.
With the continued assault on public lands by our state and government representatives, it’s even more imperative to act and protect our land access when we have the opportunity – as once it’s gone, it’s gone. There are two ways this can go – 1) We can rally awareness, contact our representatives, and kick-in a few bucks for future trail access, or 2) We can do nothing and watch as yet more “No Trespassing” signs go up and in the place of trails, lakes, and skiing are gates, heated driveways, and Range Rovers. It’s up to us to make a difference.
How you can help Save Bonanza Flats:
1. Invest in Trails & Open Space
Most importantly, this deal needs money to succeed. We are donating 100% of the proceeds from all sticker sales now through March 15. Furthermore, we’ll match whatever funds are raised from sticker sales up to $250 – so if we sell $250 worth of stickers, we’ll kick in $250 more for a total of $500.
Alternatively, you can donate directly to Save Bonanza Flats.
2. Contact City & County Representatives
Your city & county officials need to know that there is support for this issue, or else it will be disregarded. Call, email, or even better show up to council & planning meetings. Below is a script you can use in support of Bonanza Flats.
I strongly support the open space purchase and preservation of Bonanza Flats in Wasatch County. I ask that you support the protection of the 1,350 acres of Bonanza Flats and contribute funds towards the purchase of this beautiful piece of land. This area is critical for wildlife, watershed, and ecology. Many people in my community and surrounding areas support this effort to make more open space. Please donate county funds for this effort through Utah Open Lands and support Park City’s purchase of the parcel. To learn more go to savebonanzaflats.org
3. Spread the Word About Bonanza Flats
After steps 1 & 2 are complete, spread the good word. Sharing whenever you see Bonanza Flats related content on your news feed helps ensure visibility. Additionally, you can use the share buttons below to share directly to your page.
For more information, visit savebonanzaflats.org