Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for April 24, 2014
Kane County Resource Committee welcomes Congressional staff and Federal managers
The Kane County Resource Committee members welcomed William Swadley, Southern Utah Director for Senator Orrin Hatch, and Gary Webster, Southern Utah Director for Congressman Chris Stewart, to their April 15 meeting. The representatives talked about various topics relating to the budget, job training, BLM and wild horse issues. The capturing of more than 100 of the wild horses and how to deal with them becomes a problem. They have visited the areas where some of the corrals are located on private lands and will be working with the various county commissioners involved in the situation to solve the problem.
Director Swadley talked about Senator Hatch’s Taxpayers Right To Know Act, a bill that would require every federal agency to produce an annual report card for each of its programs to keep the public informed.
Director Webster said Congressman Stewart has introduced bill H.R. 4256 “to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require, in counting the number of a species in a state for purposes of determining whether the species is an endangered or a threatened species, inclusion of the number of the species on state and private lands as determined by the state, and for other purposes.”
Another topic of discussion was the National Park Access Act introduced in the Senate on March 11, 2014. It requires the Director of the National Park Service to refund to the states all state funds that were used to reopen and temporarily operate a unit of the NP system during the period of the October 2013 shutdown. It now is in legislation.
Roads into the Dixie National Forest was a major concern. Chairman Marty Ott and member Byard Kershaw led the discussion, explaining the biggest item of interest is the status of the Robinson Canyon Road, other roads in the forest, and the opening of those roads to ATV travel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is involved in this decision. The county and ATV clubs are in favor of opening the roads for recreational purposes. Acting District Ranger Jake Schoppe, of the Powell Ranger District, stated as yet there hasn’t been a final decision made on the roads. There are still options to pursue, such as public opinion and comments.
Commissioner Jim Matson, along with Casey Tuttle, Fire Chief for the Cedar Mountain Protection District, talked about monies and efforts spent on catastrophic wildfire protection, and the challenge of fire protection on private lots within the community. Several property owners on Cedar Mountain are from out of the area and only occasionally visit their properties. The Wildfire Steering Committee is working together with the BLM, the Forest Service and community leaders to emphasize the area’s potential fire problems. Matson was interested in this situation, as 27 percent of the county’s tax base is on Cedar Mountain. Fire protection is a necessity.
Kaibab National Forest NEPA Planner David Vincelette provided information on the Bison Management Plan Scoping meeting to be held on April 28, at the Kanab Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.