ACTION UPDATE: Projects of the High Uintas Preservation Council
*** On August 14, a boiling hot afternoon in a windowless office in the Ogden Federal Building, Bill Worf, president of Wilderness Watch in Missoula, and I met with a cadre of Wasatch National Forest and USFS Intermountain Region personnel, from planners, ecologists, deputy Forest Supervisor, Evan-ston District Ranger, to range conservationists, to discuss the future of grazing on the West Fork of the Blacks Fork June 1998 West Fork Blacks Fork and October UPDATE 1997 [an overview of grazing on the Uintas]).
This spring the Forest Service will be releasing an analysis and recommendation as to how grazing will occur on the West Fork, particularly the high alpine country from Deadhorse Lake to the crest of the Uintas. There are many disputations here but there is no doubt the alpine country is not meeting the intended desired condition the Forest Service has set in the guiding Rangeland Health Environmental Impact Statement. It has simply been grazed too heavily and too hard for too long. And all agree this problem is not centered only on the West Fork of the Blacks Fork.
Thus the importance of this process and decision is obvious. As we move closer to a draft recommendation and analysis we will provide a detailed analysis of the conditions and issues on the West Fork. We urge every member of HUPC to vigorously participate in this process.
*** We are still awaiting a decision on the East Trout Slope Timber Proposal on the Ashley National Forest. Remember, this was proposed as a sale to harvest over 20 million board feet of timber, construct over 20 miles of new roads and re-open 26 miles of closed roads! The Ashley is also in the earliest stages of proposing large areas of timber harvesting and road building on West Trout Slope and what is referred to as Roadshed-- the eastern "elephant’s trunk" of the Uintas. In each of the areas there would be some to extensive harvesting in undeveloped areas. (For a discussion on timber issues on the Uintas with some discussion of East Trout Slope, see HUPC Newsletters June ‘98 and January ‘97.)
*** On September 26 HUPC board members, staff and members participated in the Kamas Ranger District’s Roadless Planning Workshop in Kamas. Call us for future meeting dates and times.