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LCC Grit Mill Preliminary Proposal
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By sfotex
From Sandy, UT
Apr 9, 2014

Buh-bye Grit Mill:

Project and Decision Summary
The project is located north side of Utah Highway 210 in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC). It extends from the Little LCC Park and Ride lot to the Grit Mill site, and is bordered on the north by the Twin Peaks Wilderness. I selected Alternative 2 (The Proposed Action) because it best meets the purpose and need for action, responds to key issues, and addresses public comments. My decision also includes required project design features and mitigation measures described in Appendix A of the DN. The Proposed Action includes the following actions:
1. Grit Mill removal and parking area development:
a. Demolish and remove the Grit Mill, all related out-structures, and industrial equipment, utilizing heavy equipment. Debris will be removed to an appropriate off-site location.
b. Construct a climbing access trailhead parking lot, including a restroom and interpretive site. The lot will be designed to accommodate approximately 35 vehicles and will be closed generally between November 1 and April 1. However, the lot may remain open, or be reopened, when the site and the climbing areas are free of snow, depending on adequate budget and staffing needed for routine maintenance.
2. Climbing Access Trail development:
a. Construct new trail segments: construct approximately 1.4 miles of new trail in areas without existing routes to provide sustainable access to climbing features and other existing access routes (see d below). The new trail segments, combined with the existing segments (see b below), will provide the core loop trail system and provide multi-use access to and from the Grit Mill and LCC Park and Ride trailheads. All core trail segments will become Forest Service system trails.
b. Maintain existing core routes: upgrade approximately 0.7 miles of existing core routes to be consistent with Forest Service trail standards. These segments, combined with the new trail segments, discussed above, will complete the core system loop for access to and from climbing features and trailheads. Trail upgrades will include brushing and retreading to meet width and drainage standards.
Caring for the Land and Serving People Printed on Recycled Paper
c. Close non-sustainable routes: close and rehabilitate approximately 0.9 miles of existing access routes that are not sustainable. These routes generally are very steep, run up and down the fall-line, are often redundant, and are highly erodible.
d. Stabilize existing climbing access routes and belay platforms/landing pads: stabilize and maintain approximately 1.2 miles of short segments of existing routes to specific climbing features and landing pads to reduce resource impacts (erosion) to the core trail system and surrounding environment and provide sustainable access and climbing. Construct erosion control structures (water bars and check dams) and retaining walls in these areas. These routes provide access from the core trail system to specific climbing features and will not be included as FS system trails.
3. Roadside Parking Management -
a. Close all roadside parking between the Grit Mill and the LCC Park and Ride. The SLRD will coordinate with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Unified Police Department (UPD) to develop a roadside parking signing and enforcement plan.
My decision authorizes new recreation facilities that are located within a Forest Plan Management Prescription (3.1w) that does not permit new recreation facilities. To address this, my decision authorizes a site-specific amendment to the Forest Plan (Appendix B in the DN). This amendment is a non- significant amendment to the Wasatch-Cache Forest Plan that allows a waiver to standard (S3.1W) as it is applied to the Grit Mill and Climbing Master Plan project area.



A copy of the EA and Draft DN/FONSI may be obtained from the Forest's web page at: www.fs.usda.gov/projects/uwcnf/landmanagement/projects.


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By C.Worthen
From SLC
Apr 9, 2014

So is this a done deal? I've read the proposal before and like the idea (even with a little extra hike here and there) but, has there been a decision?

I'm ready for decent trails leading to these areas.


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By Kyler R
From SLC
Apr 10, 2014
Castleton Tower

I'd love to see the grit mill gone. It is an eyesore and on busy days the extra 35 parking spots could very well end up being life savers.

Many areas do not allow a parked car to be completely off the road or people just suck at parking. Therefore forcing bikers and runners further into the road than they already are.


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By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2014
Cleaning up in Jenny Lake.

Tapas wrote:
Re-reading it, they seem to have removed the parking ban between Grit and Gate A... maybe it is OK, except for roadside access to the stuff midway betwixt the Grit Mill and park and ride


I believe the idea is to eliminate roadside parking between the Grit Mill and the Park and Ride at the mouth. Roadside parking for Lizard Head and Altered States are just above the grit mill and archives road and would be unaffected.

A trail could be run in between the new parking area and the Park and Ride. Since a trail already runs most of the way before heading up towards Crescent Crack it shouldn't be hard to imagine. I avoid the roadside parking in that area anyway, too many people going too fast down the canyon.


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Apr 10, 2014

Garret Nuzzo-Jones wrote:
I believe the idea is to eliminate roadside parking between the Grit Mill and the Park and Ride at the mouth. Roadside parking for Lizard Head and Altered States are just above the grit mill and archives road and would be unaffected. A trail could be run in between the new parking area and the Park and Ride. Since a trail already runs most of the way before heading up towards Crescent Crack it shouldn't be hard to imagine. I avoid the roadside parking in that area anyway, too many people going too fast down the canyon.


In general the above is correct. UDOT would like to eliminate as much road side as possible throughout the canyon. The conflict comes when there is no trail system from a designated parking area. With the grit mill gone and a parking area establish in its place road side parking will not be needed as a trail will be built between there and the park and ride at the mouth of the canyon. In addition, trails will be built up to the crags.


BTW If folks read the initial docs none of this would be a surprise.


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By DrApnea
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 10, 2014

This would be nice to have the designated parking area for climbing access, which is probably the most common activity in that area. Unfortunately I feel it will just end up being another park and ride filled with the cars of people spring skiing Alta/Snowbird/BC.
Also the open dates of the lot are way too restrictive. I have climbed in south facing LCC every month of the year. By April 1st, LCC spring climbing is already half way over. Why not just plow it like the road and park-and-rides? I'd even take no gate, no plow, and then we can 4wd onto a snow field through early spring until the April 1st opening date (unless we could just roadside park during the times that the lot is closed).


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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Apr 11, 2014

DrApnea wrote:
This would be nice to have the designated parking area for climbing access, which is probably the most common activity in that area. Unfortunately I feel it will just end up being another park and ride filled with the cars of people spring skiing Alta/Snowbird/BC. Also the open dates of the lot are way too restrictive. I have climbed in south facing LCC every month of the year. By April 1st, LCC spring climbing is already half way over. Why not just plow it like the road and park-and-rides? I'd even take no gate, no plow, and then we can 4wd onto a snow field through early spring until the April 1st opening date (unless we could just roadside park during the times that the lot is closed).


Much of this was discussed. From the decision:


Construct a climbing access trailhead parking lot, including a restroom and interpretive site. The lot will be designed to accommodate approximately 35 vehicles and will be closed generally between November 1 and April 1. However, the lot may remain open, or be reopened, when the site and the climbing areas are free of snow, depending on adequate budget and staffing needed for routine maintenance.


In the spring time the park and ride lot is not that busy. Unfortunately because logistics, not plowing and keeping it open is not an option.


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By DrApnea
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 11, 2014

I was obviously not involved in the discussion forums and this post is the first I am reading of it so sorry for my ignorance.

With such a late season ballpark opening date, it is the "generally" and "depending on adequate budget and staffing" that are bothering me about this policy. That means it could be earlier, but it also means it could be much later if staffing or budget doesn't designate access to our hobby as being a priority.

The park and rides were nearly packed when I went this weekend to climb, and most people I saw were getting skis ready or loading them back into their cars. That is why I bring up my concerns, but it likely has already been discussed by those involved earlier on in the decision process.

It really won't make any difference to me since I am moving out of state but will impact those people that use this area regularly, especially during early spring.
Good luck getting things settled out to benefit climbers and thanks for keeping us informed.


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By tenesmus
Apr 11, 2014

Will they have security cameras to ID the tweakers who break into cars?


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