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WILDERNESS MANAGEMENT

OF THE HIGH UINTAS

The hypocrisy and hubris of the Forest Service never stands so stark as it does when the agency must deal with wilderness management issues. The Forest Service, ignoring cited and published research provided in our High Uintas Wilderness Management appeal (HUPC Newsletter, Dec. 1997 and Aug. 1997), not only rejected our appeal but loosened management standards! Ironically, out of one side of its Cheshire grin the Forest Service agreed management changes were necessary, yet their own plan and now their appeal decision proves this was never their intent.

Quoted below is the thrust of our detailed, 13 page appeal.

In the "Purpose and Need" section of the EIS (I-1-2), it is noted, "Now after a decade, the existing direction is outdated and insufficient to provide the needed direction to manage the High Uintas considering today’s use and the effects of increasing numbers of people." We agree and that is why appellants have participated vigorously and for decades in this process.

The Forest Service response to their own stated need for changing current use patterns in the HUW is found in the ROD1 (6): "It is true that what we’re referring to as "desired condition classes" are, for the most part, a description of current use patterns of the wilderness landscape." [emphasis added] This should be embarrassing for professional wilderness managers. On this need for change and admission that it was not met, this decision should be rendered null with clear direction to resolve the issues facing the High Uintas Wilderness.

1ROD: record of decision

Wow! Admit a change is necessary. Then say we are responding to this need by staying put. Then go backward. That leaves lot of room for hope, huh?

Dick Carter


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