November’s Meeting Revolves Around Land Bill for Emery County Public Lands Council


The Emery County Public Lands Council hosted its November meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The biggest item on the agenda was the commission report on the Emery County Land Bill. The council brought up a few concerns that they have with the bill as it is currently written.

The first concern is ensuring that the language in the bill is clear that no roads will be open or closed due to the bill itself. The council is hoping to eliminate any misunderstandings with the bill’s current state to make certain that roads that are open now will not be closed.

The next two matters were not discussed in as much detail. They regard assuring that the bill does not negatively affect the Lila Canyon Mine and if anything, helps the mine. There was also some attention to the possibility of mining sand in San Rafael. The council does not want to lose this right, if it is feasible. But, as of right now, after the tests that have been run on the sand, there is about a 50/50 chance that the sand is of the correct substance to be useful. So, this concern may resolve itself.

There was a real emphasis from the council to make sure that under the new bill there would continue to be a local presence on the new planning council. As they discussed the types of people the bill calls for to be part of the council, they concluded that five of the nine seats would be filled by local members. This satisfied their expectations.

The council is also going to do their due diligence and talk with Washington County, which has had a similar bill in place for a number of years. The goal of this conversation is to understand Washington County’s likes, dislikes and the implications of the bill.

At the end of the meeting, the council spoke to a member of Senator Orrin Hatch’s team to further discuss their concerns and understand what they can do to ensure that the bill serves Emery County’s residents in the best possible manner.

Several representatives from government agencies also presented updates during the meeting.

The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) reported that they dispersed $82.6 million to schools. It was stated that the money was not earmarked for anything in particular, so the school districts can use the money where they see fit.

Darin Olsen, forest ranger, reported on a project to reduce fire potential on the mountain from Miller’s Flat to Ferron Mountain. High priority locations will be Black Canyon and Reeder Canyon, which drain into Joe’s Valley Reservoir.

Finally, there will be two vacancies on the board in January. The council will be taking applications to fill those positions.

One other note was that Christmas tree tags go on sale on Nov. 13. They may be purchased at the Forest Service offices in Ferron or Price, the Co-op in Huntington, and the Main Street Market in Ferron. In addition, firewood permits will be sold through November.



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