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Wilderness Management Help Needed!

Finally, a monitoring plan is being formulated. This early draft needs our help in long term monitoring. The ONLY way we can accomplish this very important task is to rely on the willingness of our members to get out on the ground in the wilderness we love and do some survey work in specific areas of the Uintas. This is a remarkable opportunity to spend several days backpacking in the Uintas each summer. Remember, this effort addresses a key premise of HUPC, e.g. wilderness designation does NOT protect wilderness. It requires the diligence and commitment of people to protect wilderness in perpetuity.

The Forest Service is requesting volunteers to help the Ashley and Wasatch-Cache National Forests conduct a campsite inventory of the High Uintas Wilderness. The agency will provide training on filling out the campsite inventory form (probably near the end of June or early July, possibly a weekend, if that is best for volunteers), training on use of collecting point data using a GPS unit, and gear and equipment necessary to complete field work.

The goal is to complete a 100% inventory of campsites within the HUW. This will have to take place between the months of July and September.

This inventory fulfills obligations for monitoring of the wilderness resource. It is a continuing effort that includes two previous campsite inventories and is a data collection effort only, following a strict protocol. With this information the Forest Service can determine whether or not the limits set by the management plan are being met and what kind of correction is needed.

Priority areas include Granddaddy Basin, Henry's Fork, Atwood Basin, Garfield Basin, East Fork Smith's Fork (Red Castle), Stillwater Fork, Fox Lake, Chain Lakes Basin and Kidney Lake on the Highline Trail.

In addition to the field survey, the Forest Service would also be grateful for any volunteers willing to help with data entry. The Forest Service is presently entering past inventory information into Microsoft Excel in order to link it with Geo graphic Information Survey (GIS) data. The agency can provide workspace at their offices or a disc with the required format, provided the volunteer has access to Excel.

If you are interested in such a volunteer effort to protect the wilderness, we cherish your help and support. You can contact Angie Mulder, Ashley National Forest Wilderness Coordinator at the Roosevelt District, (435)722-5018; HUPC board member Rick Van Wagenen in Salt Lake City (801) 583-4041; or Dick Carter in Hyrum (435) 245-6747.

Thank you so very much!

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