SAWS Action Alert
Comments are due by August 31, 2004
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Manti-LaSal National Forest
Forest Plan Revision
599 W. Price River Dr.
Price, UT 84501
(435) 636-3500 Phone
(435) 637-4940 Fax
The Manti-LaSal National Forest has been used for well over a century as a resource to sustain the population of nearby residents of these rural counties.
Historical documented uses include mining, timbering, grazing, motorized recreation, utility corridors, hunting and fishing, irrigation and culinary water development, camping and electronic transmission sites.
Presence of these activities is readily apparent throughout the ForestÔÇÖs Manti division, which includes the Uinta Forest on the San Pitch Mountains managed by the Sanpete Ranger District.
Roadless Area #0410101 thru #0410123 and #0410125 and #0410126 include the presence of the following, which preclude the areas from wilderness designation:
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Past logging
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Motorized roads and trails
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Mining/drilling activity
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Power lines, gas and oil pipelines
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Water development, diversions and routing
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Landscaping, terracing
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Fencing and developments to accommodate livestock
┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ÔÇó Communication and telemetering sites
The above-mentioned roadless areas contain historical characteristics as mentioned and are not suitable for wilderness designation and do not meet the CAPABILITY requirements.
The above-mentioned roadless areas do not contain a value or a need for the wilderness resource compared to the value of and need for other established resources already existing. This includes both tangible and intangible resources.
Based on the number of growing communities dependent on the watershed, both through existing natural springs and already developed irrigation systems it is inevitable that further development of theses resources will be needed to keep up with the future demand.
The above mentioned roadless areas include numerous clearly documented resource demands for timber harvest and mineral production, including already developed, established and well maintained winter sport sites for both motorized and non motorized recreation.
Areas #0410101-0410108, #0410110, #0410113,#0410117,#0410121,#0410123 and #0410125 are areas that at one time have been considered high enough in mineral content both from a strategic and economic standpoint as to be designated and or leased for future surface potential. This land under contractual agreements for past, present or future uses, purposes, or activities are not in concert with the requirements of the wilderness act of 1964.
Utah has 16 wildernesses that contain a total of 802,612 acres of designated wilderness. The need for additional wilderness designation at this time would not contribute in a beneficial way to the local or national distribution of wilderness but would place an undue burden on the local communities and cause irreparable harm to both the natural resources and recreational opportunities that already exist in all the following roadless areas #0410101 thru #0410123 and #0410125 and #0410126.
Very little if any pressure exists in the currently designated wilderness areas to warrant an increase in additional roadless wilderness inventories. There is however, based on increasing populations of the communities involved, the immediate need for additional areas of multiple use on public lands.
Motorized trails, including the Arapeen ATV Trail System and numerous snowmobile trails and open play areas along the Skyline Drive are predominant on the Manti-LaSal and would be eliminated or severely restricted by Wilderness designation.
In addition the ability to manage the forest in a healthy way for fuel load reduction and water shed production would be eliminated.
By eliminating or restricting these historical uses with Wilderness designation it would cause irreparable harm to the surrounding communities and their economic ability to sustain services for their residents.
It is therefore my recommendation that NONE of the inventoried roadless areas be considered for Wilderness designation in all or in part.