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Proposed Heliport At Utah's Powder Mountain Raises Concerns

A proposed heliport at a Utah ski resort is raising concerns about environmental impact and other issues, a report said.

SMHG Village Development has applied for a conditional use permit to operate a heliport at Powder Mountain.

The facility would house a helicopter to haul skiers, mountain bikers and anglers to remote areas of the resort 59 miles (95 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.

The Ogden Valley Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the permit request next week.

The heliport would be operated by partner firm Whisper Ridge.

"We would like to be clear in stating that prior to any of our operations we proactively and carefully examine our private land with regard to environmental concerns," said Whisper Ridge Creative Director Pete Tapley.

Proposed flight paths cross Whisper Ridge and Powder Mountain land while avoiding residential developments. The helicopter would pick up and drop off customers once in the morning and once in the afternoon, he said.

"There will not be any back and forth happening around Powder Mountain resort," Tapley said.

The proximity of helicopters to the Middle Fork Wildlife Management Area south of Powder Mountain could disturb animals, Dan Harris said.

"It's just a lot of disruption for the wildlife," said Harris, who farms nearby.

Resident Dennis Maher cited risks posed by hauling helicopter fuel on the area's narrow roads.

Dave Martin called a heliport "way over the top" and said it appeals to a high-end market of visitors, not Ogden Valley and Weber County residents.

"It's not something everybody can take advantage of," Martin said.