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GOOD NEWS ON GRAZING!

For decades the High Uintas Preservation Council and the old Utah Wilderness Association have argued, pleaded, pushed and pulled for grazing closures on the High Uintas. Piece by piece, breathtakingly slow, some grazing allotments have been closed. Back in 1991 the Vernal District Ranger, now the Deputy Intermountain Regional Forester, took a courageous step and closed the Chepeta and Whiterocks grazing allotments. Some of you will remember those public meetings and the hope we all felt. A long decade later and a new District Ranger closed the Lakeshore Basin allotment. The better part of a decade again passed by and this time the Forest Service closed Grizzly Ridge, Iron Springs, McKee Draw and Marsh Peak allotments.

All of this activity has been on the Ashley National Forest and primarily on the Vernal Ranger District. Kevin Elliott,
the Ashley Forest Supervisor and his staff deserve a pat on the back for the most recent grazing closures as now a considerable portion on the eastern Uintas are closed to grazing.

What this means is portions of the western Uintas (including some of the Lakes Roadless Area), primarily on the South Slope, are closed to grazing, along with some of Rock Creek, the Yellowstone River, much of the Uinta River as well as Chepeta, Lakeshore Basin, Marsh Peak and Whiterocks. Within the High Uintas Wilderness most of the sheep grazing still occurs on the North Slope, Uinta-Wasatch- Cache National Forest, and on the lower elevation cattle allotments on both forests.

Well over two dozen grazing articles have appeared in the LYNX, ranging from maps of allotments to specific allotment issues to the vision pushed by HUPC with respect to grazing. Still, a long path of resistance to end grazing in high elevation sensitive subalpine and alpine ecosystems exists. Ironically and sadly, much of this energy comes from the Forest Service, but the path is now a bit less steep!


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