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SUPPORT CAMPFIRE CLOSURES ON THE HIGH UINTAS!

Your wild voice— a hopeful and vigorous voice— is needed to support a proposed Forest Special Order initiated by the Ashley National Forest and joined by the Wasatch-Cache to restrict campfires on many of the  heavily used lakes within the High Uintas Wilderness (HUW).  

Comments on the Campfire Restriction Order are due 20 April 2005 and should be sent to either:
Eileen Richmond                 
Acting Forest Supervisor    
Ashley National Forest          
355 N. Vernal Ave.             
Vernal, UT  84078
or
Tom Tidwell
Forest Supervisor
Wasatch National Forest
8236 Federal Building
125 South State Street
SLC, UT 84138

or by e-mail to: comments-intermtn-ashley@fs.fed.us.

Clearly note HUW Campfire Restrictions in your subject line
and provide your name and address.

 Background
For years we have pushed, pulled, pleaded and begged both forests to implement this kind of action throughout the HUW. Met with support from some wilderness managers, a few district rangers, almost every wilderness ranger, and indifference or fear from Forest Supervisors, the idea was usually shelved until the Kamas Ranger District initiated campfire restrictions in that popular basin in the early ‘90s.
This Proposal

This proposed action is based on many years of formal and systematic firewood inventories by the Forest Service (with assistance periodically from HUPC volunteers.) It notes that down/ dead firewood is becoming or is depleted from many areas, is very slow to recover, is crucial to natural ecological functions, and that designated wilderness is managed to protect natural conditions.

This Forest Special Order would prohibit campfires and firewood collection within one quarter mile of lakes in these basins: Naturalist, Granddaddy, Four Lakes, Squaw, Brown Duck, Garfield Atwood, Chain Lakes, Pigeon Milk Area, Upper Rock Creek, Swasey Hole, Upper Uinta Canyon (all on the South Slope), and Middle Basin, Amethyst Basin, Deadhorse Lake, Lower Red Castle Lake, Dollar Lake and Henry’s Fork Lake on the North Slope.

What To Do

While it would have been ideal to have seen an even broader proposal, this is a meaningful step in at least recognizing resource damage and trying to control over-use and protect wildness:

  1. Let the Forest Service know that you support this proposal.
  2. Support the Special Forest Order process. It assures meaningful public input and implementation by this summer based on the systematic monitoring, acknowledges the clear indication of resource damage, and recognizes that the area is a designated wilderness.
  3. Firmly remind both forests that, because such campfire closures are necessary, recreation use is probably too high. It is essential to continue monitoring, close additional areas as warranted, and remember wilderness stewardship is more than recreation.

Remember, comments on the Campfire Restriction Order are due 20 April 2005 and should be sent to either:
Eileen Richmond                 
Acting Forest Supervisor    
Ashley National Forest          
355 N. Vernal Ave.             
Vernal, UT  84078
or
Tom Tidwell
Forest Supervisor
Wasatch National Forest
8236 Federal Building
125 South State Street
SLC, UT 84138

or by e-mail to: comments-intermtn-ashley@fs.fed.us.

Clearly note HUW Campfire Restrictions in your subject line and provide your name and address.

THANK YOU!
High Uintas Preservation Council
PO Box 72
Hyrum, UT  84319
www.hupc.org


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