HIGH UINTAS PRESERVATION COUNCIL ALERT
WILD RIVERS ON THE UINTAS!
The six Utah National Forests along with the state of Utah have released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Wild and Scenic Rivers Suitability http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/rivers/deis_wsr.shtml. On February 6 there is a public meeting on the proposal from 7-8:30 PM at the Salt Lake City Library, 210 E. 400 S. Comments are due by 15 February by mail: Utah NF Wild and Scenic River DEIS, P.O. Box 162969, Sacramento, CA 95816- 2969; by email, email@example.com; or by fax at (916) 456-6724.
The proposal (see HUPC LYNX 12/07) is, well, lame! In the earlier analysis, 86 river segments (840 miles) on Utah National Forests were found to be eligible for pro-tection under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: 43 river segments and 497 miles were found to be eligible on the Uintas.
This suitability study recommends only 24 river segments and 212 miles as suitable for congressional protection under the Act--ONLY 11 RIVER SEGMENTS AND 131 MILES on the Uintas. Say it ain’t so, Joe!
THE HIGH UINTAS ELIGIBLE RIVERS
Rivers in bold(*) are those in the proposed action, those underlined(^) are within the High Uintas Wilderness (HUW), and those italicized(+) are within roadless areas.
Ashley National Forest
*Middle Main Sheep Creek 5 mi
*Lower Main Sheep Creek 4 mi
*Green River 13 mi
*Reader Creek 6 mi
*Black Canyon 10 mi
*Upper Uinta R. including Gilbert Creek,
Center Fork & Painter Draw 40 mi
^Upper Rock Creek and Fall Creek 27 mi
^West Fork Rock Creek, including Fish Creek 13 mi
^Upper Lake Fk incl Ottoson & E. Basin Creeks 35 mi
^Oweep Creek 20 mi
^Upper Yellowstone Creek, including Milk Creek 33 mi
^Garfield Creek 17 mi
^Shale Creek 10 mi
+Carter Creek 16
+Cart Creek 10 mi
+Pipe Creek 6 mi
+West Fork Whiterocks River 11 mi
+Upper Whiterocks River 4 mi
+East Fork Whiterocks River 4 mi
+Middle Whiterocks River 9 mi
+Lower Dry Fork Creek 7 mi
+South Fork Ashley Creek 15 mi
+Ashley Gorge Creek 10 mi
Wasatch-Cache National Forest
*Henry’s Fork 8 mi
*West Fork Beaver Creek: 10 mi
*Middle Fork Beaver Creek 11 mi
*West Fork Blacks Fork 12 mi
*East Fork Smiths Fork 12 mi
^Thompson Creek 5 mi
^East Fork Blacks Fork 10 mi
^Little East Fork 9 miWest Fork
^Smiths Fork 14 mi
^Stillwater Fork14 mi
^Ostler Fork 4 mi
^Left, Right & East Fks Bear R 13 mi
+Hayden Fork 12 mi
+Boundary Creek 4 mi
+Main Fork Weber River 6 mi
+Middle Fork Weber River 6 mi
+Blacks Fork 3 mi
+Beaver Creek 6 mi
+Provo River 20 mi
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
The proposed alternative is titled, “Recommend rivers that best represent Utah Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs) while having the least affect on existing or reasonably foreseeable future water resources projects and other developmental activities.” Enough said! The context isn’t to preserve wild and scenic river values or ecosystems. That isn’t even an issue. Such values and concerns have left the Forest Service memory; they seem only to be capable of develop-speak. Long gone are ecological, eco-system, wild or aesthetic values.
The DEIS offers no reason for ignoring the suitability of these rivers. Some rivers are rejected because of proximity to mineral leases, although no development would be allowed with most stream corridors. Some of the rivers are rejected because of potential dam sites dating back to the 1940s and ‘50s, with some sites actually having been rejected but still considered potential! It is noted that none of these streams have formal dam site proposals, recommendations, analyses, permits or withdrawals! The DEIS uses make-believe data!
LET YOUR WILD VOICE SING!
Sing about the value of wild rivers. All of these rivers have outstandingly remarkable values and almost all are primarily within roadless areas or the High Uintas Wildernes.
- Tell the Forest Service to designate as suitable for Wild and Scenic all the river segments on the Uintas in roadless areas, including those portions of the eligible rivers that flow out of roadless areas and all of those rivers within the High Uintas Wilderness and the portions of those rivers that are also eligible that flow out of the HUW!
- There are NO resource conflicts on these rivers. They are eligible with outstandingly remarkable values.
- In particular, together they speak clearly to protecting ecologically important systems rather than disjunct segments.
- Use your wild voice and memory to tell the Forest Service about those rivers that you have experienced on hiking trips.
Remember comments are due by 15 February!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
High Uintas Preservation Council
PO Box 72
Hyrum, UT 84319