We are on the brink of losing one of the Utah's most unique and iconic treasures, known as the Point of the Mountain Flight Park (the Point), located in Draper, Utah.
Every day, more and more pieces of the Point are disappearing, victim to a mining industry for which immediate profit is worth infinitely more than the immeasurable value of the land it destroys. That value goes far beyond that which is intrinsic in our state's open spaces; indeed, it touches the quality-of-life and livelihoods of thousands of paraglider and hang-glider pilots worldwide.
Paragliding and hang gliding are a vital part of both the physical and economic landscape of Salt Lake and Utah Counties. Each year, our flying site brings thousands of visitors from all over the world. The organizers of both national and international hang gliding and paragliding competitions frequently choose The Point to host their events. Images of hang gliders and paragliders appear on postcards, guidebooks, travel blogs, state tourism commercials and even underpasses.
It goes without saying that these sports have transformed the cities surrounding the Point. A short stroll down one of the Point streets reveals the sheer volume of homes occupied by pilots and their families. For many of these, the family's income and well-being relies on the close proximity and reliable flying conditions the Flight Park provides.
Residents from the Draper surrounding areas, including Suncrest, South Mountain, and Lehi, tell a consistent story: they were drawn to this neighborhood by the beauty of this hill and the natural environment that inspires and uplifts them.
That is changing. The mining operation with which our community has coexisted harmoniously for years is now literally dismantling the mountain, and it is moving forward at a shocking pace.
As close as this issue is to the hearts of those of us who live, work and fly around the Point, the repercussions of what is happening here extend far beyond our wounded neighborhoods. The county line was chosen to run along the ridge since it presents has such a prominent feature in both valleys.
If you live in either Salt lake or Utah county, you have no doubt noticed the massively detrimental effect of this mining on your air quality. The operation spews large quantities of dust and pollution into the air we breathe. Those of us closest to the epicenter wake up with our airways crusted with silt, and it won't be long until further-removed communities notice similar symptoms.
Finally, there is the macro-environmental problem we will face if the structure of the Point of the Mountain is any further degraded. The Point, as a geographical feature, directs the air flow of both valleys. If the profile of the mountain is further modified by mining, that air flow will change. The air flow as it exists now -- and has existed since pre-human times -- is a key reason that we enjoy the quantity and quality of snow that transforms our city's story, personality and economy.
Thus far, Geneva has been incredibly generous in helping to preserve parts of the land they purchased, and they are currently working on negotiations for a potential land swap or land purchase. Unfortunately, negotiations take time. Due to the rate at which Geneva is now mining, waiting for the resolution of negotiations may be too late to save this landmark.
With this petition, we hope to temporarily suspend mining activities at the Point of the Mountain until a more viable option can be agreed upon and ensure that this integral part of Utah’s history remains a part of its future.
Thank you for your support!
First and foremost, I want to thank you for the efforts your company has previously offered in the preservation of the Point of the Mountain Flight parks and other communities throughout Utah. Without your continued support much more of this site would have been effected than currently is and we truly want to work with you, in an amicable and professional matter to find a solution to this predicament.
Since 1950, Hang Gliding and Paragliding have been ingrained in the history of the State of Utah, and the flying site you are currently mining is one of the most renowned flying destinations in the world. Thousands of people each year partake in activities associated with the flight parks on this ridge and the communities surrounding South Mountain.
Furthermore, the communities currently flourishing on this mountain will be similarly devastated by decreased housing prices, loss of this unique and prominent natural formation, and added air pollution. Utah is “Life Elevated” and our tourism relies heavily on the natural environment and beauty of our unique landscapes. We want to uphold that motto by elevating our history, culture, communities, and ecology but we can’t do it without your help.
I urge you to protect this historic Utah icon and promote the communities living there by ceasing to mine the Point of the Mountain area until negotiations for a solution are completed.