Cleveland/Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry will be getting a facelift in the near future. Joan Hubert, realty specialist for the BLM reported to the Emery County Commissioners in their recent meeting. She said a new building will be replacing the two old buildings covering the quarry area. The visitor's center will be expanded so the existing displays can be spread out. An interpretive display will be added. An interpretive plan will be drawn up with a common theme. Hubert mentioned there hasn't been a real plan in place at the quarry and the expansion work will begin next summer.
The quarry will stay open during the construction process and a temporary display will be available for the public. The quarry committee will develop a plan for the quarry and it will become available for public comment. This is a two-three year project with a budget of approximately $900,000.
Commissioner Ira Hatch reported that the quarry road needs to be upgraded and a portion of it realigned.
Hubert said they are currently working on a recreation plan for Temple Mountain with designated dispersed camping sites in the vicinity. The design is not complete yet, but they will alert the commission when the plan is ready.
Commissioner Hatch mentioned that a paving project will continue on the road to Goblin Valley; phase one of the project was completed last year and funding will become available for phase two in 2006. Commissioner Hatch said they will appreciate any support the BLM could lend to the project. Hubert thought it would be a good idea for the BLM and the commissioners to meet and review current projects and to see where they might be of assistance to each other.
Mesia Nyman, district ranger, gave the commissioners an update on the Manti-La Sal Forest. She said there is snow on the mountain but you can still get up Cottonwood Canyon and on Millers Flat road you can get as far as Mud Flat. "People are still getting around and starting to snowmobile. We sold 130 tree permits prior to Thanksgiving and they will continue to be on sale until Christmas.
"We are at the start of a new water year, At Seely Creek we are at 70 percent of average. In the Dirty Devil drainage it is 77 percent of average with the water content at 89 percent.
"We reseeded 300 acres with the Black Dragon project. One-hundred acres have died there due to the continued drought. The Emery water conservancy district also donated $1,000 worth of seed to the project.
"Energy West has plans to add a new facility in Rilda Canyon and an environmental analysis will be done on that," said Nyman.
Commissioner Hatch pointed out there is a road issue involved with the county road in Rilda Canyon as well.
Nyman said they will be working on the environmental impact study for the Fortuna exploratory gas wells. There are also proposals submitted by Energy West and Sufco for helicopter core drilling on their coal leases. The Lake Canyon project is 65 percent complete and work has been suspended for the winter, bathrooms have been installed and next year the fire rings will be installed and the proposed ATV trails planned for the area will be looked at.
Nyman said they will be placing an emphasis next year on treating hazardous fuels, the main one being the beetle killed spruce.
The road project on SOB hill has been suspended for winter and it was reported that 34 more truck loads of gravel will be needed next spring to finish it off, the new alignment is currently being used.
Derris Jones from the Division of Wildlife Resources reported the antlerless hunts are underway and the elk which are currently down off the mountain are being chased by hunters. If you want to hunt turkey the applications are due by the end of December. He also reminded hunters that even though the hunts are just ending for the year, the bucks and bulls applications are due the end of January.
The Wilcox property acquisition has passed both the House and the Senate and after 30 days the property will belong to the DWR. The PILT checks are being cut now and by the next commission meeting the DWR will present a check to the commission.
Jones reported that Ron Hodson has been promoted to wildlife manager of the northern region in Ogden and his position will be reannounced and should be filled by the end of January. The DWR is currently counting Big Horn Sheep and it appears they have weathered the drought better than most species.
Five deer this season from the La Sals have tested positive for chronic wasting disease and one in the Fountain Green area. The DWR will meet on how to manage the disease and what measures they may or may not take to control the disease; they are concerned especially with the postive test in Fountain Green.
Jones mentioned this is the time of year they have a lot of trouble with trophy poaching and would like to enlist everyone in the fight against poachers. Anyone having information is urged to contact the DWR.
Five hundred Colorado Cutthroat trout have been moved into Duck Fork reservoir along with advanced fingerling Tiger trout; which, hopefully will be ready to catch by summer. Any cutthroat caught will have to be released immediately as the DWR is turning Duck Fork into a brood lake for the propagation of the species.
The next commission meeting will be held on Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.