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Forest Service seeking comments on Utah projects

Published July 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Public input • Proposals include Alta lift, Silver Lake boardwalk, trails and a weather station.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment through Aug. 20 on a half dozen small projects proposed to be done in 2014 within the Salt Lake Ranger District.

District Ranger Cathy Kahlow said her agency's preliminary assessment of the proposals did not find they had enough impact to warrant a formal environmental assessment (EA) or a much larger environmental impact statement (EIS). Still, she added, the Forest Service wants to know what concerns might exist about the proposals, which are described in detail at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/uwcnf/landmanagement/projects.

The proposals are to:

• Use chainsaws to remove dead trees, standing and fallen, "ladder fuels" and tree limbs less than six feet above the ground in an area around cabins in the Mill D North Fork area of Big Cottonwood Canyon. "The fuel break would serve as an educational tool," said Ranger Christine Brown, "providing homeowners with an example of firewise practices" while reducing the wildfire risk.

• Reroute a section of trail around Dog and Desolation lakes in Big Cottonwood Canyon to reduce erosion and produce a better route for hikers and mountain bikers.

• Allow Alta Ski Area to upgrade its Big Grizzly lift, which services beginners on the hill below Snowpine Lodge.

• Replace the 3,000-foot boardwalk that goes around Silver Lake near Brighton, expanding its width from six to eight feet to accommodate visitors with disabilities.

• Renew the Bountiful Lions Club's permit to operate a gun range on Forest Service lands above Bountiful for another 20 years. The permit originally was issued in 1959.

• Allow the Utah Department of Transportation to install a weather station south of Reynolds Peak in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Mounted on a 10-foot aluminum tower, the wind-oriented station would have an anemometer, temperature/humidity probe, solar-radiation monitor, a digital still-image camera, a solar panel, a radio and a battery. It will be outside the Twin Peaks Wilderness Area, said Ranger Steve Scheid.

Comments should be submitted by email to comments-intermtn-wasatch-cache-saltlake@fs.fed.us or in writing to Cathy Kahlow, District Ranger, Salt Lake Ranger District, 6944 S. 3000 East, Cottonwood Heights, UT, 84121. Hand-written comments also may be delivered to the district office in person between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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O Comments should be submitted by email to comments-intermtn-wasatch-cache-saltlake@fs.fed.us or in writing to Cathy Kahlow, District Ranger, Salt Lake Ranger District, 6944 S. 3000 East, Cottonwood Heights, UT, 84121. Hand-written comments also may be delivered to the district office in person between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.