Emery County Public Lands Chairman Rod Player announced that the July meeting will be a field trip to Wildcat Knoll and will take place on July 5.
Player also told the board that Roger Brooks has placed his findings about Emery County and tourism on YouTube and plays for 2 hours and 40 minutes. He recommended that the council review this video. Player asked if anyone was interested in serving on the trails committee to replace Jon Gilbert who has moved from the area. Mark H. Williams will fill this vacancy.
BLM Price Field Office Manager Ahmed Mohsen announced that they have a press release about their Master Leasing Plan and meetings will be held in Green River on June 15 at the John Wesley Powell Museum and in Castle Dale on June 16 at the Museum of the San Rafael. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m. Plans are beginning to recognize the Spanish Trail in the area. The BLM and Emery County have received a grant and hired an intern, Jaydon Mead, to take this to the next level.
A total of 200 burrows and wild horses were recently gathered from the San Rafael desert. Mohsen reports that recreation on the BLM is busier than ever and they are seeing a big spike this year. He was questioned about the Blue Castle Cove area for riding. Mohsen responded that there is no formal proposal and it is not designated in the Range Management plan of 2008. It would have to go through NEPA and have a full disclosure to everyone.
Wildlife representative Justin Hunt introduced Casey Hares as the aquatic manager for Emery County. He reported about the process to try to protect county lakes and reservoirs from mussel infestation. Hunt said that the increase in house boats and cabin cruisers has increased the problem because they must be decontaminated professionally. The west gate at Joe’s Valley is closed because it doesn’t have the personnel to man both gates and it is in the best interest of the lake to keep it closed to try to protect the lake from infestation.
Forest Ranger Daren Olsen announced that wood permits went on sale on June 1. They are scoping the Trail Mountain Fuel Project and are planning prescribed burns in that area this summer. He also had just received notice that there is a mud slide about 1.7 miles above Pete’s Hole on the road between Orangeville and Ephraim. This slide is very wet so will take a while to clear. Olsen introduced Tammy Conner who will be the Forest Plan Lead to begin a study of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. It has been 30 years since this has been done so along with the Ashley National Forest, this will begin this year. Meetings for public will be in Castle Dale on July 19 in the Swell room at the courthouse from 4-8 p.m. This will not change numbers or dates but will change range standards. Nuck Woodward Road is still closed and nothing has been done in that area to reopen it. Conner said that travel management is not going to be part of this new plan for the forest.
Jonathan Hunt form Utah Parks and Recreation reported that the Green River campground has been packed this spring and the golf course has had an impressive spring. Goblin Valley is installing badly needed new restroom facilities to help accommodate the large crowds there. The Dark Skies designation program will take place sometime in July at Goblin Valley and Dead Horse Point will also receive this designation. Millsite Reservoir is expected to spill this week and plans seem to be in place for beginning the dam rehabilitation. With new electrical outlets in the campground at Huntington North, it has become very quiet.
The water report from council member Sherrel Ward was positive. The reservoirs are rising now and water is at 88% of normal. It has been a good spring for runoff because of the cooler weather, which has helped runoff come slower and last longer.