Your Central Wasatch Playground is at Risk.
Save Bonanza Flat
Help save 1,350 acres of backcountry access, wildlife, forests & trails
that make up the Guardsman Pass viewshed.
This effort has until June 15th* to galvanize support and close the funding gap. Join us now – don’t let this opportunity pass.
Please note, if we are not successful we will return your donation.
Bonanza Flat is approximately 1350 acres of largely flat land with alpine meadows and lakes. Popular Lackawaxen and Bloods lakes are within the boundaries of the proposed acquisition, as is the face of the 10420 Peak. Though the land is privately held, it is an area that Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back residents have used for recreation for years. This land is the gateway to numerous trails including the Wasatch Crest Trail.
There has been no shortage of threats to this land in the past, with plans of golf courses and ski lifts plaguing the refuge and homes of moose, elk, black bear and birds of prey. Today, we have the opportunity to prevent this from ever happening.
LAND FOR SALE
If successful, the purchase of Bonanza Flat would ensure that spruce trees rather than subdivisions will top the 1350-acre mountain pass. A high-end private developer was pursuing the acquisition of Bonanza Flat from a subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, but the landowner has agreed to a contract offer of $38 million from Park City. Development of Bonanza Flat likely would include a private gated community, as well as commercial and residential development, but the agreement with Park City puts these plans on hold.
On November 8, 2016, Park City residents overwhelmingly voted to tax themselves up to $25 million in hopes that Bonanza Flats could be purchased and preserved as open space. At the time the bond was passed, Wells Fargo was already in negotiations with a developer, but approached Park City in support of its preservation goals and an agreement was reached.
BRIDGE THE GAP
The future of the largest Wasatch recreational backcountry is in a precarious state. Summit County Council is supportive of the non-profit coalition effort, recognizing that this land touches constituents from several jurisdictions. The $13 million gap between the purchase price and the bond amount is significant. Support from other government agencies and the public will be needed to acquire this scenic, wildlife and recreational mecca.
YOU CAN HELP
Without your help, the clean water, wildlife habitat, unique scenery and the solace this land provides, will instead be replaced by a sea of rooftops. As of today, there are nine non-profits who are poised to join a campaign to save this land. All donations through this site will go directly to the protection of Bonanza Flats. If we are unsuccessful, you will receive your donation back – DONATE HERE.
The Coalition Effort
Local recreational, environmental and conservation non-profits have formed a coalition for this fundraising campaign. Utah Open Lands, Save Our Canyons, Mountain Trails Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Summit Land Conservancy, Sierra Club, Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, Friends of Alta and Winter Wildlands Alliance are ready to help save this space.
From backcountry skiing to summer hikes to scenic fall drives, Bonanza Flat is an area of undeveloped and backcountry grandeur nestled in the upper elevations of the Wasatch Mountains. Located along Guardsman Pass Road, Bonanza Flat is a landscape familiar to many, but has always been in private hands. This recreational paradise known for its wildlife, scenic and ecological values, seemed destined for development until Park City’s option agreement was placed in front of the landowner.
To date, from private and public funding, we have raised $10,247,456.30! We have $2,752,543.70 left to raise. Help us close the gap and donate today!
Call to Action
Please inform your local outdoor retailer to support this effort. They can help save the backcountry access, wildlife, forests and trails that this land provides.
The competitive offer to purchase the land was made possible through the $25 million bond that Park City residents voted for to save the open space. With hopes that $10 million in funding will come to the table from governmental entities, the remaining $3 million gap must still be filled.
The potential development of Bonanza Flat means that the conservation values of this area are at stake. If Bonanza Flat were to be developed and highly trafficked, access to the entire area would be altered and privatized.
Preserve Bonanza Flat. Back Park City’s intention to acquire this open space jewel.
The opportunity to protect Bonanza Flats must be taken with the utmost urgency and seriousness. Decades of frightening development schemes now have an opportunity to be permanently laid to rest, in part because of the foresight of Park City voters who passed a bond last year.
— Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons
The Central Wasatch attracts people from all over because of the world class recreation opportunities and sheer scenic beauty, but we are not growing more open spaces and need to act now to conserve and protect areas like Bonanza Flats for today’s populations and future generations.
— Jen Clancy, Executive Director of Friends of Alta
This is an incredibly important and high value piece of land, both for its proximity and it’s terrain, to the backcountry community. Winter Wildlands Alliance and our members are committed to supporting this endeavor in anyway we can.
— Mark Menlove, Winter Wildlands Alliance
This week, Park City and a host of recreational, environmental and conservation nonprofits committed to protecting Bonanza Flats—a popular scenic area that connects Big Cottonwood Canyon with Park City—from future development. As an organization rooted in collaboration and partnership, The Nature Conservancy applauds this effort, which will ensure that Wasatch area outdoor enthusiasts will have open space to enjoy for generations to come and that wildlife will continue to have access to this high-altitude habitat of open meadows and alpine lakes. The Conservancy supports this important effort and is inspired by the willingness of the various stakeholders to step up and conserve these lands — enabling nature and people to thrive. We also appreciate the leadership provided by Utah Open Lands and Park City in bringing this opportunity to the forefront and galvanizing the support of the local community and others.
— Elizabeth Kitchens, The Nature Conservancy
*On March 15th, Park City decided to pay the second option agreement to secure the purchase of Bonanza Flats dependent on levels of public support and interest. The closing date is June 15th.