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March 1999 Action Alerts vol. 1

  1. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) Northern Regional Advisory Council (NRAC) hearings on hunting black bear being held in Layton on Wednesday, March 3!

  2. East Trout Slope Timber Sale Scoping document released.

UDWR Northern Regional Advisory Council Meeting

The NRAC  is holding a public hearing this Wednesday, March 3 (we apologize for the short notice!) on black bear hunting. The hearing will start at 6PM and will be held in the Layton City Council Chambers, 447 North Wasatch Drive. To those veterans of RAC meetings you know the drill--they can be unfriendly, close minded hearings simply used to justify UDWR’s proposal to bait, hound and kill Utah’s black bears. Public concerns and science mean little to this group, but your spirit, heart and courage are important to bear witness to the marvelous nature of black bears.

  • UDWR is proposing an increase in bear hunting. Your presence will be important and there are a number of issues you can raise: *No bear baiting in the High Uintas (remember the Uintas extend from Kamas to Flaming Gorge). Bearbaiting is where an archery hunter is allowed to place garbage about and wait in a tree until a bear comes along and then shoot it. It is like shooting fish in a barrel. Wild bears in the wild High Uintas deserve better!
  • No bear hounding in the High Uintas. Putting dogs on the scent of a bear simply to tree it and at close range shoot it out of the tree is a practice of cruelty whether the bear is killed or allowed to live and be chased again. Both actions are human arrogance at the extreme. If a hunter wants to chase, tree and or kill a bear do it on the bear’s turf without the aide of dogs, snowmobiles or bait! Wild bears in the wild Uintas deserve better!
  • In 1991 Utah conservationists convinced UDWR to end the spring bear hunt (bears can still be pursued and treed w/o killing them in the spring!). There is a move afoot to open the spring hunt again. Vigorously resist it because wild bears in the wild Uintas deserve better! Killing a bear as it emerges form it den in the spring bear hunting is one of the lowest form of hunting!

In 1991 a professional survey of Utahns was completed that showed 75% of us oppose bear baiting and hounding. You are not alone! We know this is short notice but please consider going to this hearing.


East Trout Slope Timber Sale

The Ashley National Forest has released the East Trout Slope Timber Sale (ETSTS) scoping letter! Comments on this early phase of  timber planning are due MARCH    15 and should be sent to Brad Exton, District Ranger Vernal Ranger District, Ashley National Forest, 355 No. Vernal, UT  84078 or e-mailed to Brad Exton at bexton/r4_ashley@fs.fed.us.

The original ETSTS Environmental Analysis was withdrawn after our comments and many of yours which suggested numerous concerns (see HUPC’s Lynx, Feb ‘99). The Ashley National Forest has correctly decided to do an Environmental Impact Statement and this is the first step of that process.

East Trout Slope, the area between Oaks Park and East Park Reservoirs, shows the heaviest harvesting in Utah--it can be seen on satellite photography! The proposed alternatives still call for a massive harvesting of dead and dying forest stands (in the name of forest health) and construction and re-opening of dozens of miles of logging roads.

We suggest a number of  concerns:

  • All old logging roads should be closed and rehabilitated with only the main non-logging access roads be opened and maintained.
  • No additional logging should be allowed in this area. The forest is not healthy because of the overflow of roads which have fragmented the integrity of  forest patches and ecological processes. It is not healthy because of roads, culverts, clearcuts, saws and the like!
  • Dead and dying trees are as much a part of a healthy integral forest as the moon is part of the night sky. Numerous species depend upon these forests ranging from goshawk, to woodpeckers to pine marten. They are, to some degree, missing from this system not because of natural processes, but because of the fragmentation created by roads and logging of both forest and ecological processes that define this area. If health is the concern, then urge the FS to consider these issues in its alternatives and issues development.
  • While there are no roadless areas, there are many undeveloped areas and untouched stands of forests which should be left alone. Allow wind and fire to play the ecological role they are destined to play!

DCarter, HUPC


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