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Health, Science & Environment

Crowd-Funding Conservation Comes To The Wasatch

Imagine helping to preserve a little plot in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s an old mining claim not far from where moose like to loiter in the shade and mountain goats hang out.

This high-mountain bowl is the target of a new crowd-funding campaign called “Save-A-Spot.”

“We’re really excited about it,” says John Bennett, president of the Wasatch Canyons Foundation, the non-profit behind the project.

“We think it’s an opportunity for crowd-funding of  conservation that’s never been done anywhere that I know of.”

The idea’s been under development for a few years. Several businesses have already pledged half the purchase price of a 14-acre parcel at the bottom of Cardiff Bowl.

And now the Save-A-Spot web site allows armchair conservationists to select a 300-square-foot spot. Then each $25 donation becomes a sponsorship for conserving that spot.

The plan is to match this local funding with grants from large land foundations, according to Sally Elliott, a longtime preservation advocate and member of the Wasatch Canyons Foundation board.

“It’s very, very important,” she says “to pull the development approvals off of this land to save it with a public easement through a land conservation organization.”

Contributors will receive certificates that identify their spots with GPS coordinates.

Meanwhile, the foundation says willing sellers have another 2,000 acres of in-holdings in the Wasatch that could be purchased through the program.

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