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MEET EVANSTON/ MT. VIEW DISTRICT RANGER, STEVE RYBERG!

Many HUPC members have met Stephen Ryberg over the years, whether at meetings on forest issues or at our annual Rendezvous at Mirror Lake. For the sake of those new to HUPC, we now present to you an interview with Wasatch N. F. District Ranger Stephen Ryberg conducted by the LYNX editor on August 4, 2003.

Stephen brings to the Wasatch National Forest much agency experience. Born in Salt Lake City, he earned his B.S. in Forestry at USU, where he later earned his Masters of Forestry. He has worked on the Logan District Fire Crew, the Payette N. F. in Idaho, where he worked on the forest plan, then moved on to the Krassel District of that forest where he gained experience in minerals administrative work dealing with cyanide heap leach gold mining operations near the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. In l991 he moved to the Evanston as District Ranger and in the mid-'90s became ranger for the consolidated Evanston/ Mt. View Ranger Districts.

Three accomplishments he would like to see on the North Slope are:

  1. Users should practice good resource ethics. Whether using dispersed sites, riding ORVs or backpacking deep into the wilderness, he feels all need to learn how to share the environment and tread lightly.
  2. Summer OHV management would be greatly improved if users obey the new travel plan, stay on existing trails, and honor the "Closed unless designated open" signage.
  3. There is a serious need for more time and money to get the ground work done! Reduced budgets and manpower combined with critical trail work, campground repairs, wilderness ranger shortages, allotment plans, implementation of regulations and the "process gridlock" of paperwork is a tough balancing act.

Regarding HUPC's concerns over damages to sensitive forest lands caused by sheep on the Evanston/ Mt. View districts, Stephen said that the permittees are actively monitored. On problem allotments (where camps aren't kept clean, unacceptable impacts from salting occur, overnighting and overutilitzation of vegetation are evident), he anticipates economics will tell. It just makes sense for a rancher to stabilize his operation (keep his FS permit) by working with the FS to do things right, perhaps acquire another allotment (thus expanding his range) and reduce sheep use on a problem area. He foresees working on more allotments to resolve the issues and impacts associated with individual allotments.

Asked how the Forest Service has improved over the years, Stephen was quick to indicate that he perhaps is the old Forest Service now, being one of the longest tenured persons in a leadership role on the Wasatch-Cache NF. He feels the Forest Service has great leadership. He emphasized that quality public involvement really helps him do his job better.

A perfect day Stephen could spend on the forest if he were not working would be just like the way he will spend it this weekend: backpacking into Amethyst Basin with his wife. He would ask a few changes, however, that most of us readily understand: no bugs, fewer people, and cooler weather. That is why early October is his favorite time to visit the Uintas.

To talk with Ranger Ryberg, email him at sryberg@fs.fed.us or call his office: (307) 789-3194.


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