By Julie Johansen
Although a representative from the Bureau of Land Management was unable to attend Tuesday’s Emery County Public Lands meeting, a letter was read by Public Lands Administrator Ray Petersen announcing a wild horse gather on the Muddy Creek Allotment. The gather is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. In order to get the number of horses down to the numbers on their management plan, 149 horses should be removed.
The BLM’s decision on the MK Tunnels should also be announced soon. Emery County has made recommendations on the tunnels and they are being considered in the BLM decisions.
A representative from SITLA assured the council of their continued support on the Emery County Lands Bill. He stated they felt it was a good bill, as it was designed from grass roots up over many years.
The Washington Delegation reported that the bill had the hearing in the U.S. House and is awaiting the reconvening of Congress for the Senate hearing. The Emery County bill will most likely be included in a larger public lands package. Keeping the original integrity and intent of the legislation is very important and will be maintained or withdrawn. There was some concern about misinformation, especially locally, prompting the council and commissioners to draft information to be publicized.
Mark Chamberlain then reported of the rehabilitation of the burn scar area left from the Trail Mountain Fire. Helicopters will be spreading wood mulch on the area for the next month, effective immediately. Four hundred truckloads of mulch will be hauled in from Fredonia, Ariz. to Flat Canyon up the Cottonwood Canyon Road. A helicopter company from Idaho will load there and spread the mulch over approximately 50 acres of land. As a result, the Cottonwood Canyon road and surrounding area will be closed to the public. However, the Indian Creek side of the canyon will be open. Grazing will continue, but for public safety, no one will be allowed in this area. He also reported that fences destroyed by the fire will be rebuilt by the Forest Service.
Questions regarding harvesting beetle kill and burned trees came from the audience. The council made a recent field trip to many logging areas on the forest, including past, present and future. They reported a continuous process.