Concerns with mining and water at lands council
In a recent public lands council meeting, council member Chuck Semborski expressed concern over a letter the public lands council had sent to the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
He said he's been involved with coal mining for more than 30 years and his company is very involved in monitoring stream and spring flows which might be affected by mining activity. "This letter will have impacts to all the coal operators and I take offense. We go to a tremendous amount of effort on monitoring. We don't control the land or the management."
Semborski thought these issues were resolved years ago.
Mistie Christiansen said Emery Town can't afford to lose any water.
Semborski said data is required before they can even apply for a mining lease. "It's in everybody's best interest to solve (water issues) up front. In Huntington Canyon, we have built two water treatment plants and one of them has never been turned on."
Christiansen said, "I need to go on record to say we're (Emery) concerned about our water."
Semborski said the letter has made things harder.
Christiansen said maybe the lands council needs to rethink the letter.
Semborski said it might be a good idea to do some public education and some presentations so people know what goes into preparing a permit for a mining lease and the requirements for water monitoring.
Emery Water Conservancy is looking at Trail Mountain and how any mining there might affect Joe's Valley dam. There is a two mile boundary that mining couldn't come any closer than that.
Semborski said they have a lot of data on Trail Mountain. They have been monitoring springs on Trail and on East Mountain.
Sherrel Ward brought up a concern for ATVs destroying the private property of the Humbug Cattle Association.
Mike McCandless said the road they are referring to is a class D county road and not newly designated. The BLM has recently done some signing in that area recently. The OHV users will contact the cattle company to see what can be done and will make an effort to work with the land owners. One possible solution might be the installation of cattle guards.
Council chairman Ed Geary told of six new national monuments recently created using the Antiquities Act. Geary will be the chairman for 2013 and Rod Player was elected as vice-chairman. Bill Bates from the Division of Wildlife Resources reported quagga mussels have been found in Lake Powell, all three of the life stages. This means any boats must be decontaminated before they can go in any other waters. He met with Capt. Kyle Ekker and Howard Tuttle on the debris basins for Huntington Canyon. The money will be sent to the DWR and then passed through directly to the project. There will be an upper and lower debris basin. The upper basin will be completed first. A 30 foot box culvert will catch the debris. The big game numbers will be set at the RAC meeting. The 80 acres owned by DWR by the Castle Dale sewer ponds is being put up for sale. The DWR was budgeted $200,000 to purchase pheasants to be released this year. The division also has a day old pheasant chick program which will give you baby chicks if you have a place to keep them.
Bryan Torgerson from SITLA said he is working with the Sage riders to install a kiosk down by Woodside to let the OHV users know of the land management in that area. The SITLA board approved the grazing language for the Emery County land use bill. He said he has talked to Mike McCandless about selling a piece of land within the industrial area at Green River.
The forest service reported on the closures that will be in effect for Huntington Canyon this summer. The burn area to Electric Lake will be closed to overnight use, but open to day use. There will be much trail work take place this summer.