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Pine Valley Mountains Wilderness Fire Alert


Good HUPC Members,

Now would be a good time to make your wild voices heard! As you know, portions of the Pine Valley Mountains Wilderness (PVMW) in SW UT are burning as a result of a lighting strike late in July. Just recently changing weather conditions with strong down slope winds blew portions of this fire toward the town of New Harmony and its many new subdivisions.

The wild-eyed hew and cry went up blaming the fire upon wilderness designation and wilderness management with Governor Herbert expressing concerns over wilderness and wilderness management. The PVMW fire is a result of three primary events--all clearly recognized and understood:

1--The Forest Service has been far too aggressive in fire suppression on forests dependent upon fires. This has not created this this fire but has assisted in making the forests even more dysfunctional.
2-SW Utah has been in a deep and persistent drought for many, many years with notably shorter winters and much longer summers. Even with periods of normal rainfall this has exacerbated drying conditions.
3-Lightning and wind.

The evidence is abundantly clear--that while some management practices have aided in fire intensity and frequency, the problems result from deep droughts and notably changing climatic patterns. This fire was waiting to happen, so to speak, whether designated as wilderness or not. And with the utter failure of New Harmony and numerous new subdivisions to adopt much more aggressive fire-wise/fire-safe techniques the likelihood of property damage grew dramatically. Building further and further with higher and higher densities up the slope to the Dixie National Forest boundary was like giving the fire a spark!

Let the Governor know of your support for wilderness and a need to address climate change and community planning standards. The wild-eyed group is loud so maybe now is the time to let your wild voice be heard!

You can write the Governor at:
Governor Gary Herbert
Utah State Capitol
350 North State Street, Suite 200
PO Box 142220
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2220

or email him from his web page at:

Also, consider writing the Regional Forester and urging the Forest Service to resist the anti-wilderness rhetoric resulting from this fire. The Regional Foresters address is:
Harvey Forsgren
Regional Forester
Intermountain Region, US Forest Service
3245 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401

or email him at

Thank you!

Dick Carter
High Uintas Preservation Council
PO Box 72
Hyrum, UT 84319

Imagine a mountain defined by the creation of life, not the production of resources.

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