Commission Hears BLM Update, Forest Service Update and Airport Concerns
Roger Bankert, the Bureau of Land Management director gave an update on BLM activities. They are working on increasing the budget for law enforcement with Emery County for the patrols on the desert. A new vehicle is coming for the desert patrol deputy paid for by the BLM and all operating costs are paid for by the Emery County Sheriff's Office.
Comments have been slowly coming in on the supplement to the Resource Management Plan. Ray Petersen, public lands director for Emery County has submitted two sets of comments with Emery County's concerns. The comment period ends mid-December and it is the hope the RMP will be out by next summer. Bankert reported there have been some changes in personnel for the BLM and they have selected a geologist who will work to beef up the coal program. The coal geologist will possibly become the manager here and the whole state's mining may be managed from the Price office in the future.
The BLM is still looking at a three tier program which would tie together Carbon, Emery and align them with the Vernal field office.
The gravel pit for Emery County has been approved and the BLM is currently working on right-of-ways for the project.
Mesia Nyman, district ranger for the US Forest Service gave their quarterly update. She said the boat ramp at Huntington Reservoir is complete and paved. The two snowmobile lots at Big Drift are in and paved as well as an expansion of the existing snowmobile parking lot at Fairview Canyon. XTO decided not to drill the gas wells that Dominion was going to and the gravel for the roads to the wells was used on the parking lots. The forest service harvested 2.5 million board feet of timber which was just under their target.
Other projects completed in the 2007 fiscal year were the burning of undergrowth in the Pines and the Jungle Burn. The Jungle project has small aspen already beginning regeneration in that area. Pinyon and juniper reduction projects are being worked on at Black Dragon and the Horn Cap area and will be completed next year.
The forest service is working on the NEPA for the paving of the Reeder road. There has been some trouble in the Spoon Creek area where full sized vehicles have caused damage. They are looking for input on what to do with the spot. The new forest supervisor is Howard Sargent.
The drill holes on East Mountain are plugged and they are pulling out.
The fuels project near Scofield was taken care of by a lightning strike. There is also a fuels treatment for Lowry Water and the Swasey subdivision. The Lake timber project will be out for bid in 2008. Plans are also being made for a road side timber sale which would clear the dead timber within 200 feet of a road or campsite. Nyman reported these dead logs are still good for house logs and firewood.
In 2008 the new motorized vehicle road map will show where you can ride ATV, motorcycle and full sized vehicles. This map will be required to be published each year so it can be updated. This will be an enforceable map which will come out next May.
Nyman reminded the commission of the large scout project for tamarisk removal which will take place next June. The scouts and leaders will camp at the Canyon View Junior High. Volunteers are needed to help with the herbicide application on the tamarisk, at least 60 each day. Anyone wishing to volunteer can contack Karl Ivory at the BLM or John Healy at the forest service.
Sharon Earl spoke to the commission concerning the airport hangar rental payments, contracts and a flight park. She said they had arranged payment with a previous airport manager where they traded furniture for six years worth of hangar rental. Now with the new manager, he would get nothing out of that arrangement. She wondered if it would be better to pay the county and the county could disperse the rental fee to the operator. She also wondered about the clause in the new contract that mentioned repairs and maintenance. The buildings are not air tight and she wondered who is responsible for repairs.
County Attorney David Blackwell said the managers are responsible for repairs at the facility. The county has a contract with the new managers for their operation of the airport. They are responsible for contracts with the hangar renters.
The new lease also mentions the manager would be allowed to go inside the hangars for whatever reason without being accompanied by the plane owner. Earl was concerned about who would pay for damages if anything should happen to the airplane on these unattended visits.
The contract also states it can be terminated for any reason with 15 days notice. Earl said if a lease is to be terminated there needs to be a reason why they must vacate because airplanes aren't that easy to move around and store.
Earl mentioned a flight park she had been to for experimental aircraft. She said she has talked to the BLM and they don't have a problem with going to some other part of the airport where people could pay to have their own hangar put up. Earl feels this would not interfere with anything the new managers want to do at the airport.
Mike McCandless said the back country pilots are going to have a fly-in event out of Huntington which will help get the word out on its location and bring people in.
The commissioners told Earl to get something in writing to present to the new airport managers about a flight park.
The new managers are in charge of the contract they have between them and the hangar rentals.
These are yearly contracts and any issues dealing with the contract will need to be addressed with the new managers.