Concerns Heard at Emery County Public Lands Meeting

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By Julie Johansen

Chairman Ron Player outlined the council’s field trip in September at the opening of October’s Emery County Public Lands meeting. Attendees toured the area south of Green River. He commented that there is a lot of county land there for the county to manage.

Board member Kim McFarlane said that his concern is that Green River EMT and rescue personnel numbers are down and if that large area needs help, it will be very expensive to the county. He questioned if the county would need to start charging for search and rescue.

Chairman Player also announced that the next public lands meeting would be hosted in Green River on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. The venue for the meeting will be announced at a later date.

Emery County Commissioner Kent Wilson reported that Cody Stewart, hired to follow Washington’s happenings for Emery County, met with Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Ed Roberson to express the county’s desire to implement the public lands act. Wilson stated that it was an encouraging meeting, but of course, the BLM needs more money and more people to accomplish the tasks required.

The BLM announced that a lawsuit has been filed and is pending. The Price Field Office is filling two vacancies and is adding more employees to deal with Jurassic Monument and the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.

Marc Stilson with the Division of Water Rights told the board about Green River City’s change of application to use water for hydroelectric power, which has been met with protests from Fish and Wildlife. A hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 6 at the Green River City Hall.

Stilson also reported that the Ralston Dam has been renovated by grouting the holes made by rodents. Miller’s Flat Reservoir was drained so that the gates could be inspected. When drained, the gates were found to be in working order.

Hansen from the Division of Wildlife Resources reported that fish samplings in Huntington Canyon are unusually high, meaning the fish will be returning. He also reports of the stream restoration on the Huntington Creek using natural structures built to make better fishing areas in the canyon. Gill nettings on the following dates: Huntington North, Oct. 15; Joes Valley, Oct. 10; Electric Lake, Oct. 8.

Youth pheasant hunts are scheduled at Hatt’s Ranch in Green River on Saturday, Oct. 5 and at Desert Lake on Oct. 12.

Forest ranger Daren Olsen reported that they are working on the forest plan, reviewing with their cooperating partners. This was reported to be ongoing until Oct. 7. He also had the good news that the Black Canyon timber sale had gone through and Timberline from Moroni had purchased the timber and were removing 112,00 ccf’s. The Forest Service is also working to sell another 140,000 ccf’s from Reeder Canyon. He said that this is advantageous to all and they are using all tools to help manage the forest.

The logging located by Skyline Mine is the Baco Company and are they using tether logging to get their trees, which requires less roads. Wood permits are on sale until Nov. 30 and after then will not open again until June. Grazing permittees have received extended grazing time due to the late spring and late entrance on the allotments.

Goblin Valley expansion going through the NEPA process and Millsite State Park Expansion is moving forward, Larry Johansen reported. The area between the golf course and state park would add 10 to 12 new camping spots and hopefully a few small cabins. He also reported that snowmobiles used in trail grooming are being prepared as winter approaches.

Department of Agriculture representative Jones reported that the Millsite Dam rehabilitation is progressing as construction workers are now adding the four-foot extension on the height of the dam. The spillway plan has finally been received and concrete work can start soon.

The Moore Independent pipeline finished two months ahead of schedule. When questioned about cannabis growers in the area, Jones responded a few ranchers are growing test plots for Utah State University.

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