By Julie Johansen
The Emery County Public Lands meeting on Tuesday began with Chairman Rod Player’s comments about the vacancies on the board and how to ensure interested people submit applications. Applications are available online at emerycounty.com and can then be taken to the courthouse for submission or submitted online. These applications are general volunteer applications that can be uses for any of the different councils or boards in the county.
The agency reports began with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requesting any reports of maintenance items needing attention on the BLM lands, such as signs, roads, cattle guards or crossings on the river. Board member Leon McElprang spoke concern about the fences along the San Rafael River that have been removed. He questioned if let down fences could be attached to permanent stands on the side of the river. Kyle Beagley suggested that he speak with Jaden Mead about these situations.
Construction projects on the BLM in Emery County, including power line revamping near Woodside, will be completed in the next couple of months. Beagley continued, sharing that the San Rafael Swell Travel Management Plan is now in the evaluation stage. It will be forthcoming when all the reviews have been completed.
He then spoke about the rumors circulating about Lila Canyon Mine shutting down and said that nothing is final as far as he knows, but they did find a lot of water inside and are recovering equipment, which could mean a probable closure. He did say that Fossil Rock is making steps to reenter the mine. Skyline Mine is also still having water problems.
Emery County Commissioner Keven Jensen then commented about an email the commission received from cooperating agencies with their concerns about all decisions being made nationally and everything else being shut off and pushed out.
The Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) report stated that it is in the process of capturing and relocating pronghorns to the San Rafael Swell area. There are currently about 160 antelope in this area and the maximum number has always been about 600, which could be reached in a couple of years. These will be planted near Goblin Valley.
A DWR Regional Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6 in Green River and a proposal meeting on watershed restoration is scheduled for Jan. 24, also in Green River. At a recent wildlife meeting, it was reported that protected use of scopes for muzzleloader hunting was approved with the provision that if there are visual impairments, a one power scope could be used. There were also different hunting restrictions proposed at the meeting due to the high number of predators in Utah.
The Forest Service reported that the burn piles being ignited near Boulger Reservoir are cleaning up debris left from logging earlier this year. The recreation department is already busy even though the snow amount has been low. Work is continuing on Ferron Canyon Dairy Trail. Consumer YCC applications for high school age workers are being received at the Forest Service office for employment.
Christmas tree permits are available at recreation.gov or at the Forest Service office in Ferron if anyone still needs a permit. The QR codes for campgrounds fees need to be downloaded before getting to the campground on both the Forest Service and BLM.
Utah State Recreation reported that December has been quiet as they don’t start grooming trails until there is about 24 to 28 inches of snow. Larry Johansen has rejoined the state to do instruction on the trails in this area. It was reported that once the trails are groomed, one could travel via snowmobile from Joe’s Valley to the Utah Wyoming border.