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ACTION UPDATE: Projects of the High Uintas Preservation Council: West Fork Blacks Fork Grazing Update

The Evanston Ranger District is still working on the West Fork Blacks Fork environmental analysis (see HUPC Newsletter, 6/98) but has recently prepared an analysis of the extensive public comments received on the scoping letter. This analysis also focuses on defining the issues and how the issues will be measured in preparation of the decision notice due sometime later this spring. We would like to acknowledge the Evanston Ranger District for preparing this analysis!

We must admit, however, that it is hard to see the issues and measurement indicators outside of the formal National Environmental Policy (NEPA) document and the rest of the information and data that must be viewed in context, thus we want to reserve judgment on the relevancy of this until we see the whole analysis.

While we believe the issue identified as Rural Life-Style and Values is a legitimate issue, we still believe it is only one side of the equation and presupposes that only rural agricultural interests place a lifestyle/economic value on the West Fork Blacks Fork and the rest of us harbor some ill-defined esoteric value that can be ignored. As you strip layers off this issue it actually comes down to the differing valuations that are placed on this area. To get a meaningful read on this issue the Forest Service must broaden this analysis point.

Also the issue of Ecosystem Sustainability is one of concern simply because the alpine/subalpine meadow landscapes of the Uintas are not inherently diverse, are extremely fragile and exhibit very slow recovery even though alpine grazing may not dramatically alter plant composition.


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