Gold medal watchdog

  To ensure that "environmentally and socially responsible choices' are exercised in the planning of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Ivan Weber has founded the Olympic Watch League (OWL). Weber is a member of the environmental advisory board to the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, but he warns that environmental issues are not being taken seriously: "So far our decisions have been what kind of plastic fork should we use." He says his nonprofit watchdog group is more concerned about issues such as a proposed land swap at the Snowbasin Ski Resort, where the skiing events will take place. Though environmentalists estimate that the resort needs no more than 50-100 acres of state forest land to hold downhill events, Snowbasin owner Earl Holding, who is also a member of the organizing committee, maintains he needs 1,320 acres. "What people need to realize," says Weber, "is that this is a serious conflict of interest." Weber also notes the committee's failure to fund a full-time environmental consultant, although they pay the committee president $315,000.

For more information about OWL, call Ivan Weber at 801/569-7037.

* Bill Taylor

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