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Front Page » May 28, 2002 » Local News » News
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By BRANDY FULLER
Staff Writer


Emery High School held their graduation commencement exercises on May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Spartan Center. Conducting the pledge of allegiance was Brindi Bowden. Allison Wells sang, "One Great Nation." Following the song, Brindi Bowden, senior class president, welcomed the students, faculty, staff and many friends and family.

Abe Bawden, student body president announced the 2001-2002 Teacher of the Year award. He stated, "some of us might know him better by some of his favorite sayings, 'you can't graduate Emery High if you don't attend Emery High,' and 'meanwhile back at the ranch.'" James R. Nelson was presented this award with a Emery High quilt.

The salutatory address was given by Larissa Larsen. She talked about the famous story of the little engine that could. The more the little engine went his attitude changed from "I think I can, I think I can ,to I know I can I know I can." She stated "we are in charge of our own attitude." She ended her speech by saying, "attitude is everything."

The next speaker was Ashlee Allred. Her honor address was called "what dreams may come." Ashlee spoke of the importance of friends and the influence they have on our lives. "Friendship is our greatest gift," said Allred.

Kimberly Sitterud was the next honor speaker. Kim told how they need to take their goals with them on their journey. "The smallest and newest goals aspire us to new heights," said Sitterud. "We made it," were her last words. A musical number was then sung by the senior chamber choir members, titled "The Prayer." Following the musical number honored speaker Nathan Allred spoke of how all their life they strive for victory. "This class will have to earn the right job and college degree. We are going to a new chapter in our lives and we will go towards our greatest victory", stated Allred.

Mary Farr spoke after as a honored speaker. She related the class to little turtles that had just hatched. They can barely see the oceans path. They will each take different paths. But to never be afraid to fail just learn from it and move on. She wished the class all the luck in the future.

The valedictory address was given by Kody Powell. His speech was titled, "Facing the Future." Kody spoke of how everything they do effects their future. "The choices we make today will effect our lives tomorrow," said Powell.

The presentation of the senior was given by Principal, Gwen Callahan. The acceptance of the seniors was then given by Laurel Johansen. Marie Guymon Johnson and Laurel Johansen awarded the diplomas to the seniors.

The class of 2002 ended their commencement exercises by singing the class song, "Halls of Emery."

They then placed their graduating tassel on the opposite side and tossed their hats with excitement. Friends and family then gathered to the Spartan floor and congratulated the new graduates.

Green River graduates ready to take on the world

Green River High School held their commencement exercises on May 23 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Kevin Keele, class president, welcomed the audience to the graduation. He said the senior class will be donating the money that is left over in their senior fund to the trophy fund to help with the purchase of a new trophy case. He said, "Our only limit is our doubt, we need to move forward with faith and stand tall. We are somebody. We can be like a tree and bring forth fruit and prosperity and friendship. Friends are a gift," said Keele.

The next speaker was class Salutatorian, Rachel Wilske. She said, "Tonight we will receive our diplomas, what we do with the training we've received will be up to us. Success is ours; if we shoot for the moon and miss at least we will touch the stars. You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. You must do your best because you never know what the wind might blow your way," said Wilske.

The next speaker was class Valedictorian, Amber Watterson. She said, "I can't believe it has been 13 years since we started school. The world is ours to conquer if we work together. We will all do different things as we go out to conquer the world and will have different experiences. These experiences will be like a knife, they will help us or hurt us depending on if we grab the handle or the blade. We are as pieces of clay that have been molded and changed. You have the ticket, you are a winner. Explore your dreams and mold the future. Focus on that dream and it will guide you. Take the road less traveled, it is important to look far down the path. Pick up the knife. In the end taking the road less traveled could make all the difference," said Watterson.

A slide show was presented next of all the graduates. The show included pictures of all the students as they have gone through their school years. The presentation was prepared by Stan Parsons, class advisor.

Denice Hoffman was next on the program as the guest speaker. She said, "Respect each other's diversity. This is a diverse group with many different talents and interests as the pictures of them has just shown. Live life to the fullest, none of you can be replaced. You are unique. Do what you love and you'll love what you do. Treasure your family and friends and never leave with anger. As I've traveled around with my job, I've come to realize not every child has what you have here in Green River. You have grown up with love and support. Your community has taken pride in what you have done.

"Life is a gift. There are hopes and dreams within us," said Hoffman. She went on to tell the story of Charles Schultz the creator of the Charlie Brown cartoon. He started out as a child nobody noticed who didn't have many successes. But he believed he was an artist although he had been rejected many times. "Believe in yourselves and the world will be your classroom. Earn enough for your needs, but not for your greed. Take action and do something even if it seems impossible," she said. Hoffman also told the story of Jimmy Yen whose goal was to teach all of the common people in China to read and write.

Principal Nolan Johnson presented the seniors for graduation. Kirk Sitterud, superintendent of the Emery District and Royd Hatt, school board member presented the diplomas to the graduates.

The graduates cheered and threw their hats into the audience and then proceeded outside by the building where they were congratulated by parents, teachers and friends. The graduates for 2002 are: Shawn Brady, Steven Burnett, Brittany Burr, Nick Erwin, Brad Ford, Brandi Fort, Kevin Keele, Kody King, Michael Mayall, Kimberly Nelson, Crystal Snow, Amber Watterson and Rachel Wilske.

John Healy, from the forest service was on hand at the Emery County Public Lands Council meeting on May 14. He briefed the council on a possible SITLA land exchange for forest service land in Cottonwood Canyon. This would be exchanged for land in Rock Canyon.

Healy said Mike Crawley, Scott Steinburg and Dennis Peebler have been working on the plan for the use of fire on the forest. Utah has a fire amendment which amended the forest plan on all the forests in the state of Utah. Two years ago an EIS was done on this subject and last year it was approved. The national fire plan has been ongoing and is ready for implementation. Work is being done to amend the forest plan for fire use by developing a criteria around that. We are looking for input, said Healy.

Steinberg said they have been evaluating the current situation on the forest, such as collecting information on live fuel moisture and dead fuel moisture. "Large fires are occurring south of us at the current time. We expect this to be an active fire year." Steinberg went on to explain that when the forest service dips water for fire suppression they are obligated to reimburse or replace this water. All water belongs to the state of Utah.

It was pointed out that current conditions show not much spring growth in the low country where the drought is hitting the hardest. The higher country looks better.

Steinberg explained they are looking at a long term fire plan and will spend at least two years looking at how to deal with fire. "Last year was a critical fire year and there were fatalities and a lot of money spent," he said. A fire management policy is being put together. A plan to be used as a backbone, a little different way to look at fire. Upon an ignition of a fire either natural or man-made, the plan was to suppress it. "We will look at whether that fire might be beneficial for the burning of fuels. Those benefits have not been looked at. A wildland management policy gives the option to implement fire for resource benefits. This is a prescribed fire. The forest service is legally obligated to suppress all man-made fires because humans start fires in bad places which can turn into a big fire really quickly."

Steinberg said they are looking to come up with an area of Emery County for proposed fire use acres. Another member of the forest service team pointed out the different criteria to be looked at in these areas such as their distance from private land and areas where no private assets are concerned. Also areas where the fuel supply is not continuous so to keep the fire in the identified area. He also pointed out that these fires would not go unsupervised that people would be on hand. These types of fires will also be put out if it is determined they are doing more harm than good.

Dennis Worwood, chairman of the lands council saw the crawling fires as a good way to clean up the forest. If the areas were picked and chosen, money could be saved and there would be a better outcome. Many people he said have expressed concern to him about 'let it burn policies.' Steinberg said that is not their intent and they will be working within guidelines for looking at fire behavior and working with fuel moisture. He said they have contacted permittees to let them know it is not the forest service's intent to take out anyone's allotment. This fire plan would be implemented in isolated areas.

Steinberg sees this year as a training year for the implementation of this plan. There wouldn't be more than one fire in one area at any time. They plan a limited start to bring people along; the forest service as well as the public. He also said the areas would be closed to the public while the fire was in process; but he didn't see the fires as high intensity fires. "We will keep the public informed," he said.

Healy pointed out they are trying to develop prescriptions to work within and get input on concerns. This input criteria will be put into form. The forest service will also report back to the lands council on the prescription and bring it back for review.

The issue of the burn season usually being in the fall when the hunting seasons are going on was brought up. It was explained that the burns begin when conditions are ready. Such as temperatures, humidity and other factors. Val Payne from the lands council pointed out the need to inform the public as to what defines the burn window.

The forest service personnel present saw the need for taking a more active approach in getting the information to the public to explain fire history and the role of fire. Commissioner Drew Sitterud also suggested that the forest service take the prescription to the RAC board to explain the policy to them as it deals with sportsmen and wildlife. The forest service agreed that the educating of the public will be instrumental in implementing the plan.

Although the Farm Bureau supported the May 8 congressional adoption of the farm bill, UFBF President Leland Hogan expressed Farm Bureau's great disappointment in the Senate-removed emergency assistance program previously adopted by the House of Representatives.

"With much of the nation facing unprecedented drought - including Utah, it is essential that there be emergency assistance for lost crops and livestock range and pasture land feed," Hogan said. "If this doesn't happen, much of our livestock breeding stock will be lost. Already, early data show the nation will harvest the lowest wheat crop in years."

Hogan said that Farm Bureau is joining with other national agricultural organizations to support a $2.3 billion emergency agricultural assistance amendment to the FY2002 Supplemental Appropriations bill. The emergency agricultural assistance provision would provide support for income losses in 2001 and payments to eligible livestock producers who suffered losses due to natural disaster. The separate bill would make $4,825,000 available in Utah for the Livestock Assistance Program and $900,000 available for disaster assistance.

Beyond the initial emergency assistance disappointment, Hogan noted Farm Bureau was pleased with other aspects of the farm bill that will significantly impact local farmers and ranchers:

� Loan rates and direct payments for corn, sorghum, barley, oats and wheat are higher and will be a better safety net for producers in Utah.

� Authority for loan deficiency payments on grazed wheat, oats, barley and triticale will be helpful for Utah livestock producers.

� The permanent $9.90 Milk Price Support Program will be particularly beneficial to Utah dairymen.

� Marketing loans or deficiency payments based on a loan rate of $1 per pound for graded wool and $ .40 per pound for non-graded wool is a significant victory for Utah wool growers.

� An increase of 2.8 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will provide more help to Utah farmers and ranchers.

� A $200 million annual increase to the Market Access Program will allow Utah producers to secure more foreign agricultural markets.

Hogan also noted that the $190 billion farm bill is authorized over the next 10 years. Subsequent budget reconciliation will follow, however there is a provision written into the bill to pay for some 2002 program costs without waiting for budget reconciliation. The farm bill does not include the billions of dollars spent on school lunch programs, WIC, Meals on Wheels, etc., although those consumer programs are charged to the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget.

Bill Broadbear from the forest service was on hand at the Emery County Public Lands Council meeting on May 14 with an update on the Arapeen Trail system. He reported that the maps have been printed and are now available at the forest service offices in Ephraim, Ferron and Price.

He said they have been working on the project for 18 months now. They wanted a map to match what is on the ground. He pointed out the forest service travel map which has been around between 15-17 years is still the forest travel plan. The Arapeen Trail map features opportunities for ATV use. By doing this they hope to focus ATV use on the loops available. The Arapeen map focuses on trails around Potters Pond and south of there. Project coordinators spent six months developing and implementing a signing system.

Broadbear said work still needs to be done on trail head areas. "The signs feature trail guidelines and rules like respecting property. All trail heads will be marked with a bulletin board. The signs are all in tune with what is on the map. We borrowed the idea from the Piute trail system. The signs will help with educating the OHV users. They deal with rider etiquette, yielding to other riders, leaving wildlife alone and other information.

"This is our best shot for now. We expect changes and corrections will occur on an annual basis and it will probably be an annual printing. We expect feedback from various users and we would like to hear from them. As people use it we hope to develop a better trail system and a better product," said Broadbear.

Broadbear has training planned for forest service office employees on the use of the map. Seasonal workers will also be out on the trails giving out maps and educating the public.


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