(KUTV) State and local leaders gathered Monday in Cottonwood Heights, to sign the Mountain Accord, the name given to the collaborative effort to manage future growth in the Central Wasatch Region.
Governor Gary Herbert was among those who added his signature to the plans outlined by members of the alliance. The Governor said his signature represents his trust in local entities to find the best compromise.
"There's always a distrust, particularly if you're not involved in the discussion," said Herbert, when asked about members of the public who've been skeptical of the Mountain Accord's motives. "I've talked with a number of people who've had some concerns about it. Once we've had an opportunity to discuss the process, discuss how they can give input and receive answers to their questions, trust is built and distrust goes away."
One of the issues being discussed by the Mountain Accord, is transportation through Salt Lake County's mountain corridors. The options have included increasing public transportation, constructing a rail line and widening roads. This topic has created perhaps the most amount of controversy.
"The intent of the accord is that we have transportation capability, yet do nothing that would harm the environment, the ecological system we have here, our watershed or flora and fauna," said Herbert.
Officials say with Monday's unanimous approval by the executive committee, the Mountain Accord moves into phase two, which will include more research, more public feedback and completing an Environmental Impact Statement, as part of the required NEPA, National Environmental Policy Act, process.