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ACTION UPDATE: Projects of the High Uintas Preservation Council

KAMAS ISSUES FORUM

The Kamas Issues Forum (see The LYNX, 2/99, 4/99) is resuming! On February 26, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the City Hall in bustling downtown Kamas, Utah, the Forest Service will discuss, Prescribed Fire: Fire as a Natural Resource Management Tool. Notwithstanding a blizzard, which we haven't seen for far too many years -- where is winter nowadays?-- it is a great drive, a beautiful day and a vital discussion. We hope to see as many of you in Kamas as possible!

A GOOD MEETING WITH THE ASHLEY

Back in early December, HUPC board member Stacy Williams and Dick Carter spent the afternoon with Ashley National Forest Supervisor Bert Kulesza, the forest's district rangers, planner, environmental coordinator and a host of others, discussing an array of Ashley issues. As usual it was a productive, occasionally funny and frank meeting and exchange of concerns and ideas. We talked about timber sales and the long awaited East Trout Slope Timber Sale (see The LYNX 10/98, 12/98, 2/99). Additional changes have made the sale far less impacting. The Ashley truly has been responsive to concerns over this sale. And it looks like it is the only meaningful timber sale planned in the near future! We spent a lot of time talking about wilderness management issues and our concern over the weak High Uintas Wilderness Management Plan (see HUPC Review and The LYNX 1/97, 5/97, 8/97, 10/97, 6/98). Thankfully, but with a bit of irony, the Forest Service now seems to agree there are serious problems facing the wilderness resource and are struggling to make the plan that they issued, and we appealed and lost, meaningful! Issues such as access, monitoring and non-native fish stocking were discuss ed. One of the most hopeful discussions has been the ongoing issues of removing the remaining high mountain reservoirs and stabilizing them as natural lakes (see HUPC Newsletter and The LYNX 4/99, 3/97, 4/98). There are some 16 of those reservoirs within the High Uintas Wilderness and a small handful within the surrounding roadless land. It is imperative this happens soon as many of the reservoirs are in varying states of decline and failure. To maintain them as reservoirs and meet state safety standards would require that dozens of miles of roads be constructed to these sites and be open to regular inspections and maintenance... clearly a violation of the intent of the Wilderness Act! This is a major issue. While we are happy to see the Forest Service cognizant of it, it is time to move forward. The irony, of course, is that high mountain reservoir stabilization has already occurred on the Mt. Watson/Lakes backcountry!


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