ACTION UPDATE: Projects of the High Uintas Preservation Council
WASATCH FRONT FORUM
HUPC’s Dick Carter participated in the January 12 Wasatch Front Forum sponsored by Save Our Canyons and Wild Utah Forest Campaign. Dick was asked to initiate the panel discussion of roadless area issues in Utah by providing an historical review of the past Forest Service roadless area inventories and the successful effort at enacting the Utah Wilderness Act of 1984. (Dick was the principal "mover" of that historic campaign.) Joining Dick on the panel were Denise Boggs of the Utah Environmental Congress, Liz Thomas of SUWA, Rainer Houck and Robert Uzelac, off-road vehicle advocates. Another warm January night.
FOREST ACTIVIST CONFERENCE
On 15-16 January HUPC board member Marty Steitz rode shotgun with Dick Carter down to Boulder, Utah for a two day forest activist conference sponsored by the Wild Utah Forest Campaign. Aside from the evening hike up Calf Creek and Dick’s history of the BLM wilderness review and overview of the Escalante drainage from Hells Backbone, the highlight appeared in Torrey, where the two stopped for candy bars and coffee at the gas station. There, buying a soft drink, was a bona fide clown-- purple hair, size 21 shoes, red nose-- the whole thing! As he walked out Dick asked the clerk if it was normal for clowns to be in Torrey mid-afternoon in mid-January.The clerk’s response brought an hour of stories as they drove under blue skies over snowless Boulder Top: "Well, he’s from Hanksville!"
Remember long ago when Summit County (see HUPC Action Alert, 11/97) was debating the "Eastern Summit County General Plan Related to the Traditional Use of the Land?" At least two hearings were held, one in Coalville and one in Kamas. Lots of discussion surrounding wilderness ensued-- would the County recognize wilderness as part of the traditional use of land and support the concept of wilderness
or would it reel in fear of wilderness and mistake it for a threat to the survival of the eastern, less developed portion of Summit County?
In November 1997 the County looked at the issue in more detail after significant public input. What was finally passed in late 1998 was the deletion of the "generally disfavors wilderness" replaced with "will consider expanding wilderness as well as wild and scenic river designation in areas that will not limit... viable or productive traditional economic uses."
On balance the resolution is reasonable, but sad in many ways. Like so many places, Eastern Summit County is rapidly converting from a rural to bedroom suburban community. The plan is probably too late and ironically wilderness will probably be the only thing that will hold a bit of the Summit County ruralness. The County should be jumping at the prospects for more wilderness and less development.
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