|Emery County Commissioner Gary Kofford, seated, attends the open house for the new Division of Natural Resources building in Price.|
Wayne Ludington of the Bureau of Land Management informed the Emery County Public Lands Council that Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry has closed for the season. He stated that visitation numbers were up for the season and they attributed the rise to the renovations which had recently taken place at the quarry.
Ludington also said the RMP comment period closes on Dec. 13, so everyone is encouraged to get their comments in quickly. The status of the West Tavaputs Plateau environmental impact study will be coming in the next couple of months. It is presently in internal review and this may approve nearly 700 wells for the area.
Rick Larsen of the Division of Wildlife Resources said they have moved into their new office building. He also stated the 200 acre fire which happened in Range Creek during the summer months has been reseeded. Their goal in that project is to prevent the cheat grass from returning. The Range Creek management plan is still in internal review.
Mesia Nyman of the US Forest Service reported on the proposed seasonal road closures. She stated the gate on the South Reeder Trail has been installed and moving the gate on the Hole Trail should be complete in several days.
The dates for the closure and gate installation in the Joe's Valley area will be Jan. 1, 2008-April 15, 2008. "Our goal is to protect the roads and trails through Spring breakup," said Nyman. "We are trying not to interfere with any hunting activity."
Nyman stated the scoping questionnaires concerning the Kitchen area ATV connection road, the Lord's Trail off Horn Mountain, and the Black Fork jeep trail are needed. She said she wants to meet with all interested parties about the proposed road closures and the three new trails proposals.
"The Lowry Water road has been badly neglected," said Nyman. "It's time to do something about it. There is lots of damage through the wet areas, and we are in the process of gathering input for the management of that road."
She stated the concern is for the Red Pine Ridge to Potter's Pond portion of the road. "We are taking comments on three options. One-close the road totally. Two-leave it open to ATVs. Three-leave it open to full-sized vehicles.
"Damage around the wetlands is serious and needs to be addressed. Maybe we can reroute around that area," said Nyman. The public lands council said they are in favor of rerouting the road around the wetlands and leaving the road open to full-sized vehicles as it has been in the past.
The School and Institutional Trust Lands representative, Bryan Torgersen said the applications for OHV rights of way are still being processed. He said a great number of requests came in and it is taking longer than anticipated to process those applications.
"We are in the process and working with the involved parties on reclamation project for the roads that were built during the Crandall Canyon mine disaster," said Torgersen. "We are also working to establish an economic development area near Green River. It is a 2,500 acre parcel and it is a rail served area."
Council chairman Bruce Wilson informed the council there will be four seats on the council becoming available in December. The council approved to begin the application process.
Gary Petty, councilmember, informed the council of a recent field trip with SUFCO into the area above Emery. "They are very interested in helping us solve the problems with the water. They are willing to try anything to bring the water back."
Wayne Urie of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said, "We have put together a tamarisk project to address the tamarisk growth in the Buckhorn area in the Swell and in Joe's Valley. One thousand Order of the Arrow Scouts will be coming into Emery County to help with the project. The project will begin in June 2008 and our goal is to remove the tamarisk in those areas."
Urie stated the beetles which were planted to reduce tamarisk are working fairly well in the area around Moab. He said the progress in Emery County is not very good.
The Emery County Public Lands Council meets every month on the second Tuesday of each month in the Old Courthouse at 10 a.m.