Richard Thomas learned his love of the outdoors from his father during innumerable family and Scout camping and skiing trips in the Cascades of Central Washington and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
A resident of Alta for over twenty years, Richard has witnessed steady growth in Little Cottonwood Canyon, both public and private. He strongly supports the efforts of Friends of Alta to assist the Town in its legal battles to enforce its zoning decisions, to maintain the watershed and to conserve the natural heritage of the Albion Basin. Richard is a long-time member of the American Association of Individual Investors and the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to his affection for the Alta community and his experience observing financial markets and trends, Richard brings his knowledge of graphic design and communication to the Friends of Alta organization.
Throughout his early childhood in Utah, Richard was regaled with anecdotes about his great uncles, Roy and Earshel Newman. They told exciting stories about their mining adventures in the Central Wasatch, during the decades before skiing Alta’s powder snow was economically more important than finding gold or silver. Roy became renowned as the “Blind Miner” of Big Cottonwood Canyon when he continued working his claim there many years after an explosion took his vision. Earshel looked out for his brother over those many years, and during the thirties, he was a mining engineer at the Live Yankee Mine in American Fork Canyon. In winter he would ride the tram buckets across avalanche paths to ski over the ridge into Little Cottonwood Canyon and down to his cabin in Holladay. Sometimes Earshel would visit Alta’s Mayor Watson along the way, and has humorously told of his difficulties skiing down after sampling a potent beverage called a “Pinecone”, so named for the fir branch flavoring the brew.