September 9 ATV Poker Ride
Ferron Peach Days: Thank you to all that
National Public Lands Day Wedge Overlook: See report included in this newsletter
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
Mary Lue Bentley, our club secretary, told me that she has SEUOHV Club caps, T-shirts, flags and whips on hand to sell to anyone that is interested. ff any of you would like some of these products, please call her at 435/384-2264. She will bring them to club meeting for you or if you live out of town they can be mailed. (Please note that the whips can not be mailed).
There was a good turnout for our Club meeting on September 12. Thank you for attending. Highlights of the meeting included: RSVP representative Shanna Davis was there to explain about the volunteer program for seniors and hand out forms. It was decided that the club would sponsor 2 major poker rides for the year and make them a biig jamboree. If the cities want rides for their celebrations, the club will help but they will have to organize their own. Don Keele reported on the bridge work in Reeder Canyon. He said that he had help from some riders from Tennessee and North and South Carolina. They also sent money to USAALL to help with our land issues. The bridge is now complete.
Margaret Swasey, of the Emery County Public Lands Recreation Sub-Committee--reports that some tools were left by the cement work at the Wedge Overlook on September 23. Please call her to identify the items so that they can be returned to their rightful owners. Following is her report on that event:
Despite the cold National Public Lands Day 2000 at the Wedge Overlook was a complete success. Thank you to all club members and their families who came out and supported the event. The weather was cold, windy and at times a bit wet. We built 720 feet of buck and pole fence, 5 free-standing sections of fence, built forms and poured around 5 yards of concrete for a sidewalk and fire rings. We cleaned up garbage (enough that the BLM had to make three trips with a couple of trucks to haul it all off) Some of our volunteers repelled down and found 14 old tires from the dm. These, except for the 3 or 4 hauled to the top will be floated out next spring by the BLM. (Anyone interested in helping call Wayne at 435/636-3600).
Val Jensen's Band entertained us with some great background music while we prepared to eat and enjoyed the Dutch Oven meal prepared and served by Emery County Search and Rescue.
Martin Tyner of the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Cedar City released a beautiful Peregrine Falcon he had spent months rehabilitating. He stated-this was one of the best releases ever. The bird flew to freedom in one of the most spectacular locations in the state and after a few days will head for Mexico for the winter. Martin also brought his huge Golden Eagle "Bud' to
Show to all of us as well as a hawk. He has had Bud for over lO years and hunts rabbits around the Cedar City area with him.(Todd and Kelly, we're glad your little Critter wasn't lunch). Those of you who were not there missed an informative and impressive educational opportunity to see these gorgeous birds of prey up 'close and personal'. Many said this was the best part of the whole day, (Hopefuly we can do this again next yeary.
Tom Fry, the National Director of the BLM, Sally Wisely, State Director of the BLM and Congressman Chris Cannon came to show their support for the project. Tom Fry gave Emery County the highest award that can be given by the BLM, the Legacy of the Land Award, for all of their efforts in protecting the public land in our county. He also expressed his appreciation for all of the hard work and effort put in on this project. Commissioner- Randy Johnson and Kent Petersen accepted the award for the County. A section of buck and pole fence had been saved for Tom Fry, Sally Wisely, Dick Manus and the Commissioners to build when they completed their inspections. (They did a good job on it and also avoided stepping on an endangered cactus in close proximity to their feet.)
Dick Manus, Field Manager of the Price BLM, thanked everyone who came out in the chilly weather to work and also thanked the BLM people who came from Salt Lake and Washington DC to participate in the days activities. He promised that next year we will find a bigger project to keep the over-enthusiastic fence builders busy for the whole day.
Wayne Ludington and the Recreation Sub-Committee wish to express their appreciation to all that brought their own tools, generators and equipment to work on the fencing and concrete. This could not have been done without you. Great turnout from the club!
Volunteers came from all over the state: Individuals from the BLM State Office,Emery County Sheriffs Search and Rescue (16), Utah Parks and Recreation (2), Bureau of Land Management(ll+)'on their own time", MECCA "Mostly Emery County Cycling Association" (11), Ferron City Youth Council (I 3), Emery County Public Lands Council (1 0), Cleveland/Elmo Youth City Council (5), Notre Dame (9N, Forest Service (2), SouthEastern Utah OHV Club (37+), Buckhom District of the Boy Scouts of America (97), Individuals (1 8+) and around 25 not signed in for a total of over 257 volunteers.
Local Sponsors and Donations: Ferron Merc, David Allred, Val Jensen Band, Ronald Sanders, Boyd's Family Pharmacy, BK's, Ace Hardware, Big Mama's, Headquarters, Magnuson's Lumber, Kent McKell DDS, Stewarts, Tracy's, ETV.net, Food Ranch, Gilly's, Grant's, Cathy's Pizza, J&B Glass, Country Comer, Ray's Tavem, Deckers Bicycle, Daniel Coles DDS, Holiday River Expeditions, Dunhams Melons, Castle Blast and Vac, Cycle MD and the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Cedar City.
Thanks again and until a bigger project next year, Margaret Swasey
Co-Chair Recreation Sub-Committee/Emery County Public Lands Council
P S. Anyone with photos of the days' events can enter the nationwide contest for Public Lands Day. There are prizes for the winners. Call me for the information. I would also like to build a photo CD with some of your best photos to send to the State and National BLM Offices. If you have some you would like to include, please contact me at 381-5225 or 384-2707. If no answer please leave your name and number.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST;
Written by Alan J. Peterson, our Public Relations Officer, and printed in the Deseret News
The public land use controversy is alive and well in Utah. Hot on the heels of the BLM's emergency closures in wilderness study areas, the Forest Service has now canceled some routes that the Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree had been permitted to use.
. Everyone agrees that public land needs to be used in a proper manner so future generations will be able to enjoy the sights as we have. Where the vehicle-assisted recreation access advocates and wilderness advocacy groups differ is in their ideas on how the land should be used and managed.
Most of us agree that public lands are for the public to enjoy. Many of us utilize motorized vehicles to access the forests as well as the deserts. Existing roads, trails and "ways"
provide access to many recreational sites and historical sites that are part of our heritage. We use these access routes to take our families camping, fishing, hunting, sightseeing and relaxing. Most advocates for vehicle assisted recreation access also take time to leave a camping spot or a road in better condition than it was before. Picking up trash left by others and doing road maintenance are just part of the price we must pay for continued access.
There are a number of special days set aside each year to celebrate and improve our public lands. National Public Lands Day is one of these. Scheduled nearly one year in advance, this year's NPLD is September 23. Our local project here in Emery County will be a cleanup, maintenance and construction project at "The Wedge" on the San Rafael.
Last years project at Copper Globe attracted mote than 170 participants who came together to improve the land. Much labor, sweat and sore muscles were donated to the cause. Multple-use advocates of all kinds came together and shared their love for the land by working side by side to make some obvious improvements.
The greatest adversaries to the multiple-use philosophy are groups such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Better known for their lawsuits against land managers and their dislike of motorized off-highway vehicles, these groups seem to avoid involvement in projects such as National Public Lands Day. They have conveniently chosen the same weekend to hold their private 'campout party' at another location on the San Rafael.
How sad and frustrating it is that this group would rather spend time partying at Hidden Splendor than working to actually improve our public land. They obviously prefer "court time' over 'work time." So when all is said and done, the multiple-use advocates will have completed another project that improves public land and the "anti-everything" groups will have done nothing but prepare for their next court appearance. Which group do you think really cares about public land and protecting it for future generations?
Retort by Dave Pacheco, the Outreach coordinator of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance:
I'm writing in response to the 'My Turn" article by Alan Peterson of the Southeastern Utah
OHV Association in the Sept. 18 Deseret News. Mr. Peterson is wrong to chide SUWA about service projects in Utah's deserts, claiming that the annual member gathering, the SUWA Roundup, is merely a party for environmentalists who prefer "court time over work time,' while his group is holding its second annual cleanup day in the San Rafael Swell.
A little perspective is in order. This spring the Sierra Club got good press for its fence building efforts in the San Rafael Swell, designed to keep OHV's out of sensitive areas. Such good press that Mr. Peterson's group felt left out on the good will. When I went to the Bureau of Land Management with desires to do a similar project this summer, I was notified that the "local OHV club asked to get involved in your project." I said great, and in the heat of the July sun, about 20 volunteers from SUWA and Southeastern Utah OHV Association worked together to erect about 400 feet of fencing. That,day, I met a bunch of nice folks from Emery County who joined the SUWA project. That was good will and a step in the direction of cooperation.
Just like SUWA does not generalize that all OHV use is bad (there are places where
ORV use is appropriate, and there are places 'where it is not) Mr. Peterson should not generalize that SUWA is "anti-everything.' There are bad apples In every bunch, and unfortunately some overzealous OHVers are causing problems for everyone. With many land-abuse problems in our unique deserts, we have a big job. And only because they've been dragged into court is the BLM now beginning to address real on-the-ground problems.
Response from Mark H Williams, President of SouthEastern Utah OHV Club:
In a recent letter to the editor, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance officer Dave Pacheco asks us to believe that SUWA is a cooperative participant in land use projects.
I must agree with Mr. Pacheco that SUWA is indeed a leader when it comes to certain projects on public lands. Yes, indeed, if it is a fencing project that will restrict access to an area, you can depend on SUWA or the Sierra Club to be there in full force. If it promotes their own self serving and one-sided agenda then they will be there. If it eliminates you and I from public land you can count on their participation.
Just don't expect them to work on projects such as Copper Globe or The Wedge where they would be working alongside multiple-use advocates of all types. They aren't interested in
providing access for the handicapped, building hiking trails, constructing pit toilets and fire rings or gathering trash. No, they prefer to build fences to keep you and I out.
On the other side, the multiple-use advocates and the Vehicle Assisted Recreation Access (VARA) advocates prefer to "mend" fences. Bringing all users together on the ground as well as "at the table" is the only way we will ever bring an end to this continuing debate over public land management.
Cycle MD is a new business on Main Street in Castle Dale. They cater to those of you interested in used ATV's and motorcycles. Stop in and see what they have to offer! We'll have some more information about them next me in the next newsletter.