Public Lands Issues Reported to the Council


By Julie Johansen

The Emery County Public Lands council voted to advise commissioners to abandon two county roads during a recent meeting. Larsen Lane in Cleveland is essentially a private driveway with a closed gate halfway down down the lane and only approaches private land. There is also a no trespassing sign on this lane. The other road under advisement for closure is the Deer Creek Mine Road above the loading area to the mine. Discussion on the difference between a Class B (county receives funds from the state to maintain) and Class D road (county does not maintain) was considered. The Deer Creek road does approach SITLA land and other private property. The commissioners will host a public hearing before they take final action on these matters.

The council was also informed about the bison herds from the Tribal Lands on Range Creek. Wildlife agents are perplexed as the herds are bigger and hunting of any large animals closed on Jan. 31. They are asking the Tribal Council to gather them back to their land with a helicopter roundup and send to slaughter. Consideration is also given to liberalize tags for next season.

Chris Conrad, Field Manager from the BLM, announced two oil and gas lease sales. One lease on the southeast corner of the county and another east of Highway 24.

Christensen from DOGM spoke to the council about reclaiming abandon mines, both the Cottonwood Mine and Crandall Canyon mines. Final reclamation plans are difficult for Crandall Canyon because of the Memorial parking area. He also announced that Bronco Mine is planning on hiring nearly 40 more employees and the Green Hollow Lease for Sufco Mine is still under review.

Brian Torgerson from SITLA thanked Dr. Edward Geary for the report on the history of Victor. He is hoping to find some grant money to help Emery County purchase the Victor Cemetery. He also reported the Des Bee Dove and Good Water Rim Trail have been approved. He reminded the council that access to SITLA lands was very important and ask for their consideration in their action of road closures.

Forest Service representative Mark Chamberlain announced that because of the drought situation pending on the forest, their plan was for permittees to go on with full numbers but probably come early. This will be up to each cattle association, possibly smaller numbers and longer duration.

AUM prices have dropped from $1.86 to $1.41. Chamberlain informed that most gates are still open. Horn Mountain and South Flat gates have been closed for wildlife protection. The ice slide road on Ferron Mountain is also closed for safety reasons.

The staff of the Washington delegation reports that the Emery County Land Bill is still pending legislation. A new representative from John Curtis’s office, Lori Faulk, was introduced to council members.

Councilman Sherrel Ward gave a very dismal water report, overall only 37% of normal.

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