Emery County Public Lands Council Gives Report

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Emery County resident Jared Anderson gave a short introduction to the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival to be held this weekend in the county.

Anderson stated that Joe’s Valley is one of the top three bouldering places in the nation. He complimented the bouldering sportsman saying they were typical of all sportsmen, environmentally friendly, having a good time and are good partners with the communities. They work well with the Forests Service and BLM. They have hired portable restrooms as there are none available in either Straight Canyon or Cottonwood Canyon.

Council member Rod Player reminded the crowd of the Friday, Oct.7, deadline to comment on the Forest Service Master Plan. He also commented on watching the hearing of the PLI. No further action will take place until after the elections.

Emery County Commissioner Paul Cowley said that the county held a special commission meeting last week and decided to hire counsel Marty Banks to help fight the EPA sanctions imposed on the PacifiCorp power plants. 

Becky Andrews from the BLM reported that the Environmental Assessment of the pipeline from Deer Creek mine is over on Oct. 27 and so this should soon proceed. She also said this is the time for input on the Old Spanish Trail and Temple Mt. NEPA hearings. She also discussed the Melon Days Festival at the Ranch in Green River. There was some discussion about the repercussions to the city of Green River.  She said she would take this word back.

Shawn Rogers from oil, gas and mining said he didn’t have much good news. Oil and gas prices are down and even though it feels good in the gas tank it sure hurts the economy. The stock market also follows the price of gas. 

The DWR reports that it is having a youth pheasant hunt on Oct. 16 and 17. This will be at Desert Lake, Hatt Ranch, and Huntington Fowl Ranch. Numbers will be limited to 20 youth at each place. The muzzleloader hunt is almost over and the spike elk hunt will begin on Saturday, and the rifle deer hunt begins on Oct. 22. The aquatic section is doing well. Huntington Creek habitat is good for cutthroat trout. Gill nettings at Scofield will take place on Oct.5, Electric Lake on the 7th and Joe’s Valley on the 17th. They are trying to reduce the number of chubs at Scofield. Public input is desired on this issue.  Corn used for bait is now legal in eight waters in the state, including Electric Lake and Lake Powell.    Deer numbers seem to be up except for the Southeast of the Manti-La Sal on Ferron Mountain. This is being researched and studied.

Jonathan Hunt from state parks reported of the Dark Sky Designation received at Goblin Valley this past weekend. It is a busy time of year at the State Parks. October 22 will be the last golf tournament at Green River State Park.

A SITLA representative at the meeting thanked Ray Petersen for planning and directing its recent field trip. SITLA is still looking for someone who wants to take over the Victor Cemetery. Anadarko has applied for easements for pipelines.

Kevin Albrecht, Forest Service representative for Daren Olsen, reported that the Fly Canyon Fire burned 2,866 acres, of which 976 have already been air reseeded with grass and winter wheat. They have used recommendations from hydrologists and their range staff.

The Washington delegation said that the PLI has been introduced and past committee. Technical changes came from the BLM and some mapping changes from Emery County, otherwise it remains as sent in by the county. Some Native American issues have hindered progress, but it should have a floor vote in November.

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