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Forest Services Looks to Enhance Local Watersheds

In an ongoing effort to enhance the Ferron and Joe's Valley watersheds, the Forest Service is proposing three actions to decrease the sediment in streams and reservoirs from areas where active erosion is taking place.

In the Dairy Creek and Stevens Creek areas head cutting is slowly expanding gullies, according to the forest service. On South Horn, a concentration of livestock near Barb Wire pond is contributing to erosion. In the heads of Reeder and Black Canyon several areas lack adequate ground cover and concentrations of tarweed, an undesirable native plant, inhibits establishment of more desirable native plants, according to a forest service statement.

The forest service proposed actions for the problems are to install 12-15 gully plugs in the heads of Dairy and Stevens Creek to stop active head cutting. These gully plugs would generally be up to 20 feet wide and eight feet deep, constructed of compacted soil, rock or tires. Also proposed is to contour rip and seed active erosive areas in Black and Reeder Canyon and aggressively treat tarwood sites. Approximately 80 acres would be treated in each area. The forest service also proposes increasing livestock forage distribution by reconstructing three ponds and developing two new water sources on South Horn Mountain. These ponds would generally have dams approximately 100 feet long and from three to four feet deep. It is expected that clay or a plastic membrane would be necessary to create a seal. Overflows would be provided over native rock or installation of a large diameter pipe. The ponds would also be fenced and the water piped to a trough.

According to the forest service implementation of the proposed actions is planned for the summer and fall of this year. All three proposals have the potential to improve ground cover, thus reducing sediment flow into reservoirs, according to the forest service.

The forest service is inviting comments by interested parties to the proposals. You may submit your comments to the District Ranger, Ferron/Price Ranger District, P.O. Box 310, Ferron, Utah, 84523 by Feb. 1. For more information call Matt MECCAriello or John Healy at the Ferron Work Center, 384-2372.

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