Plea for Huntington Creek Watershed Plan to be Included in County’s Master Plan


By Julie Johansen

Wayne Urie gave a presentation at the Emery County Commission meeting on Tuesday in reference to the Huntington Creek Watershed Plan in hopes of having it included in the Emery County general plan. 

Urie reported that it took 14 months to develop the plan and that the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), other agencies and local residents had worked hard to accomplish this it. He stated that it was not an agency plan but a local conservation plan that needed to be included in the county’s master plan. The plan’s objective is to develop and implement a watershed planning tool, a way to meet water quality and protect precious water resources. Urie further demonstrated the importance of water storage as they contemplate more reservoirs and increased storage capacity.

The plan also included a land use map of irrigated and non-irrigated land as well as vegetation types through all habitats. Documentation of noxious weeds can be found in the plan. It stresses the importance of grazing as this watershed supports 33,577 aums, of which 2,798 are cattle. This represents $1.7 million economically for the Huntington Creek area.

“No stone has been left unturned in this analysis and planning,” commissioner Paul Cowley added.

Emery County Public Lands Director Ray Petersen noted that the general plan does already include plans for the Muddy Creek and San Rafael District. He reminded the commission that this would go before the Planning Commission and then, with its recommendations, be returned to the commission for final placement.

Holly Jorgensen, event planner for Emery County, then asked the commissioners for a $200 contribution for a Vietnam Veteran’s Appreciation Day on September 10. This will be in connection with Ferron Peach Days and will feature a breakfast for veterans and their spouses. They will also be honored on a float in the Peach Days Parade. This donation was approved.

Gordon’s Garden Café in Huntington will be the recipient of a 50-50 grant up to $5,000 to improve the Main Street façade. This was approved and it will receive $2,500 upon application and the remaining $2,500 upon completion of the work. The trails committee asked for two letters of approval for the access fund for Joe’s Valley Climbing Conservation Initiative.

Approval was given to renew the contract with John Deere for the backhoe/loader rental for the following year. This amounts to $891 per year and will be the last year as John Deere is discontinuing this service. Discussion and approval was given for the cooperative agreement to create a new entity to manage emergency medical services. This same action included articles of incorporation and bylaws of Emery County EMS.

A memorandum of understanding between Emery County and Orangeville City wherein Orangeville City agrees to contribute $8,000 cash and another MOU was also approved between Castle Valley Special Service District for $17,624 and Emery County. Both of these MOUs are for contributions to the Cottonwood Restoration Project.

A letter of intent was approved to inform concerned parties that the county intends to discharge pesticides over or near major water bodies and other areas that will need attention during the next five years.


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