Black Diamond Equipment Urges Support for Wasatch Wilderness

Black Diamond Equipment invites all to join Salt Lake City Mayor, Ralph Becker, for a celebration to thank Utah Representative Jim Matheson for his ongoing commitment to protecting Utah’s precious Wasatch Mountains.
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Black Diamond Equipment, a leading global innovator in climbing, skiing and mountain sports equipment, invites all to join us and Salt Lake City Mayor, Ralph Becker, for a celebration of the Wasatch Mountains to thank Utah Representative Jim Matheson for his ongoing commitment to protecting these precious mountains. The event is set for Monday, June 11, 2012, at 6pm, in the Black Diamond Atrium, 2092 East 3900 South, Salt Lake City, Utah. A $30 contribution to Representative Matheson’s re-election campaign is requested.

A coalition of developers, lobbyists and politicians are pushing SkiLink, a proposed gondola that would ferry skiers over the ridge that separates The Canyons resort in Summit County on the Wasatch Back to Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon on the Wasatch Front. SkiLink would open tens of thousands of acres in the Wasatch Mountains to commercial skiing and resort development inevitably bringing construction and human traffic that would seriously threaten both the most heavily used backcountry recreation terrain and the water supply on which half of the Salt Lake Valley’s population relies. Utah’s congressional delegation, with the exception of Jim Matheson, is pushing on a bill to force the U.S. Forest Service to sell 30 acres of public land to SkiLink. Building this lift would require the Forest Service to sell a two mile long parcel of proposed wilderness along and just below the Wasatch Crest, home to some of Utah’s more popular and easily accessed backcountry ski, mountain biking, hiking and trail running terrain.

"The allure of the Wasatch is its compact nature. It provides both stunning access and a profound natural setting in a close proximity to the greater Salt Lake area. The proposed SkiLink would be akin to introducing a strip mall to this area,” explains Peter Metcalf, President and CEO of Black Diamond, Inc. “One off inter-connects would urbanize the backcountry, ruin the integrity of our water shed, mar the views, and do nothing to minimize traffic, transforming the Wasatch from a gem of multi-use activities to a sprawl of lifts, cars and buildings. We already have 7 great ski areas in the central Wasatch. Part of Utah’s great allure is the juxtaposition of these world-class resorts to pristine backcountry skiing. This is what makes Utah a signature destination ski attraction. Building SkiLink will not enhance ski tourism, it will actually degrade it and work at cross purposes to why people come here.”

In related news, Metcalf was honored at last week’s Colorado Environmental Coalition’s Rebel with a Cause Gala 2012 where he gave the evening’s key note address --- The Power of Purpose/The Power of Passion. The event was attended by over 650 people including Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Congressman Ed Perlmutter an host of Colorado state representatives and senators. For nearly five decades the CEC has championed a wide range of conservation issues all over the state. The CEC performs many important functions including preserving undisturbed wild places, promoting clean energy, protecting and restoring rivers, exploring sustainable land use in urban areas, lobbying state legislature on conservation issues and educating citizens on the importance of their efforts.

Of the CEC, Metcalf states, "All of us at Black Diamond share a deep sense of inspiration and appreciation for what the Colorado Environmental Coalition does on behalf of the state of Colorado and the people of the United States. Their efforts to unite Coloradans to protect their natural heritage and quality of life are critical components to Colorado's outlook for achieving long-term economic success. I am sincerely humbled to be receiving their Rebel with a Cause award on behalf of the employees and shareholders of BD."

Leading by example, Black Diamond Equipment offers support to organizations like the CEC in the form of consulting services, employee volunteers, product and publicity. For more information about “What We Do” and the “Groups We Support” when it comes to giving back and conserving the environment, please visit: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/about-us/sustainability/what-we-do

Celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. is a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, skiing and mountain sports. By consistently building innovative, standard-setting products and actively preserving the mountain/canyon environment, Black Diamond Equipment has assumed a leadership role in the international outdoor community. For more information on Black Diamond Equipment visit BlackDiamondEquipment.com

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