Precious Spring Runoff
The Water Spilling over at Millsite Reservoir is a welcome sight
|The spillway at Millsite Reservoir overflows.|
Water was discussed in the June public lands meeting. Craig Johansen said the runoff is about over. "We were fortunate that the weather the first 15 days of May was colder. The runoff has been a little more than anticipated but, the snow has melted rapidly. The water has been spilling at Millsite since June 1. Joes Valley is currently at 45,000 acre feet of storage. The boat ramp is currently submerged. We are still in a drought. July, August and September should still be about the same as last year. The mountains look good."
The wild and scenic rivers issue is still in the works. A committee to write a report on the county's position on wild and scenic has been formed to respond to the forest service. On the Bureau of Land Mangement side of the wild and scenic there hasn't been as much participation by the county as with the forest service. Technically the BLM will make their own determinations and then they will be put out for public comment. Ray Petersen, county public lands coordinator met with the BLM on June 12 to discuss the wild and scenic and the suitability process.
|Lowry Water Creek in upper Joes Valley was high and muddy at times this spring.|
Johansen was concerned that the agencies can find a way around "unsuitability standards" by stating that a segment is free flowing between impoundments and that a river is not polluted by saying it is "naturally polluted," Johansen has stated previously that not a stream in Emery County should even be considered for wild and scenic because of the high salt content of the waters in the county. "We are deeply involved with the wild and scenic," said Johansen.
The coal bed methane reports are being handled by Leslie Bolinder, the secretary for the commissioners. Johansen said the mineral lease money for the county has all but dried up. The heritage area is still being considered. Sen. Bob Bennett seemed to think that it would have a better chance of going through if it was a multi-county package. Dennis Worwood mentioned that Congress is being innudated with heritage area legislation at this time. The entire state of South Carolina has applied for heritage area status. "It is more difficult to get one through and things have changed quite a bit since we first started this process," said Worwood.
Petersen mentioned the work on the Upper Little Horse Canyon road project is in limbo. Wayne Luddington from the BLM has been there to assess the cactus and it was to dry to count them so it can't be completed this season. It was discussed whether or not the process of rehabilitating the existing route which washed out was discussed. Petersen stressed that the road is on a designated open route and that for the time being users are going around the washed out area. Commissioner Ira Hatch said the problem with staying on the existing route lies with the drainage and the distinct possibility that the road will wash out again unless something is done to correct that problem. Margaret McMullin suggested that users of the road and local clubs get together to do this repair work. The matter will be checked into and discussed at a later meeting.