Commission hears agency updates
|Derris Jones from DWR said the Big Horn Sheep Festival saw several sheep.|
Patrick Gubbins gave the Bureau of Land Management update at the Dec. 6, Emery County Commission meeting. "We have always had a positive working relationship with the county and hope it continues in the future. We are in the process of remodeling the visitor's center at the Cleveland/Lloyd dinosaur quarry. The old visitor's center was the first one for the BLM and was built by Carbon and Emery County people. We will increase the size of the visitor center. The contract is for 300 days and we plan a ribbon cutting the end of next summer and would like to invite the commissioners to attend.
"We had a number of onsite meetings at the Wedge and have completed some road improvements there. We have put out several picnic tables. There has been some vandalism on the restrooms and repairs are needed there.
"We have hired a new OHV coordinator, Bill Allinson, with a grant from state parks. Bill has already logged 500 volunteer hours from several OHV clubs.The adopt a trail program has interest from clubs along the Wasatch Front and Grand Junction; also an individual from Denver and St. George. Clubs are coming together and Bill is a good person to do the job.
"We are also numbering the Class B roads. It is a good process.
"We have been working with Ray Petersen and Mark. H Williams on refining the maps for OHV routes and hopefully that will minimize the need for search and rescue. We are moving along on that.
"There have been wire burners in the Mounds area. They have been burning cable and also in some cases pulling fiber optic wires from the ground.
The Resource Management Plan is still in progress. We are reviewing maps and the economic report has been added. Mike McCandless and Delynn Fielding helped with that," said Gubbins.
Gubbins also reported the trail cat has been over the Eva Conover Road and the Behind the Reef road, and it will be back again to work on trails in the county. "We want safe and fun experiences for families who use the resources," said Gubbins.
Derris Jones reported on the Division of Wildlife Resources. He said the sheep had been counted on the San Rafael Swell and one area had 20 more than two years ago and the other area had 30 less. The sheep seem to be stabilized at approximately 230 sheep for each unit. The sheep also had excellent lamb production. Also the Rattlesnake Unit had 206 and Bighorn Bench had 300.
Some antelope were released with 96 being released in Emery County and some in Carbon County. The buck/doe ratio is 15/100 and preliminary results show a great fawn production for the deer. At the RAC meeting on Dec. 14 in Green River they will discuss bear hunting. Jones reported on the 14 bears released this summer. Three bears have slipped their radio collars, two bears have died, eight are living in Utah and one is in Colorado. They have dispersed and are doing well. Jones said the availability of food this year added to the success of the bear release. The DWR is working on the bison survey for the Henry Mountains. The ice fishing season is just beginning, Scofield is just beginning to freeze around the edges.
Carbon County is going to construct a community fishery at the fairgrounds. Water will come from the Carbon canal. The depth of the pond will be 15 feet. There will be some catch and release trout in the pond and bass and bluegill will also be added to the pond.
Jones reported the pure strain of Colorado Cutthroat found in Scad Valley contain whirling disease. Testing is continuing in the Huntington drainage for whirling disease. An education program for anglers to teach them to rinse their waders in a clorox solution as they go from fisheries in the state will help stop the spread of whirling disease.
At Duckfork Reservoir spawn will be taken this spring and tested but no eggs will be going to the hatchery this year. There is a mercury advisory out for the catfish in Desolation Canyon. A creel survey will be taken on random dates in 2006 to record fishermen and fishing success at Huntington and Huntington North reservoirs. The habitat group, Utah Partners for Conservation has done a lot and a recent tour showed the results of one of last year's projects and they watched a current project where the harrowing machine was at work. A meeting on Range Creek was held with some of the partners and the next meeting will be Jan. 11, 2006 at 9 a.m. Four meetings will be held over the next months to work out a resource management plan. Jones said a man convicted of killing two deer on the Skyline was sentenced to 90 days in jail, a $1,250 fine, $400 restitution and 100 hours of community service, the lady holding the spotlight received the same fine without the jail time. Jones concluded from this stiffer sentence that maybe wildlife crimes will be prosecuted more fully in Sanpete County from now on. The Big Horn Sheep Festival was a success in Moab with 100 people viewing sheep and attending the lecture.
An advertising campaign will be launched to attract anglers back to the sport, since 2001, fishing licenses are down 100,000. A 365 day license will be introduced and will be good for one year from the date of purchase.
The late elk hunt on the Manti has seen nice six points taken but the monster bulls have gone back into hiding and the success of the hunt during the rut has not been experienced by the late elk hunters.
Ray Petersen said four seats will expire on the public lands council at the end of the year. He has begun advertising for the positions.
In other commission business the commission approved the cooperative agreement with the forest service for law enforcement services. The Southeastern Utah applied technology college had requested the use of a room in the courthouse to conduct miner training and would need the room for three months.The commission is working with the college on alternate locations, maybe the incubator building, Huntington Town Hall or the Star Theater.
Two business licenses were approved, one for Donna LeRoy for DCL outsource payroll and Kevin Wall for A Wall Arms and Ammunition in Cleveland.
The next commission meeting will be held on Dec. 20 at 4 p.m.