Centerville • A hunting ban that would cover almost the entire city is in the works in this southern Davis County city.
Officials want to have an ordinance in place before duck hunting season starts in Octoberthat would prohibit hunting within city limits between Sheep Road on the west and Firebreak Road on the east. Under that scenario, hunting still would be permitted in the wetlands at Farmington Bay to the west and the foothills to the east.
The Legacy Nature Preserve, which borders the wetlands, also would be outside the restricted area. The preserve currently is closed to hunting by its owners, but that restriction might be lifted in the future.
Centerville Police Chief Neal Worsley proposed a citywide ban earlier this year after receiving complaints from runners and bicyclists that hunters in the Legacy Trail area were putting them at risk.
Also prompting concern has been the wildfire risk. A brush fire believed to have been started by four target shooters on June 11 burned about 20 acres in the Centerville area.
At a Feb. 7 hearing on the proposed citywide ban, duck hunters turned out in force, and most of the 13 people who spoke opposed restrictions west of Sheep Road (about 1500 West). The proposed ordinance was then tweaked to leave areas on the west and the east outside the banned zone.
Hunters who attended a June 19 City Council meeting indicated the latest proposal is acceptable to them.
Implementing a ban will take a few more steps because the State Wildlife Board must approve any regulation that restricts hunting. Because the board prefers not to institute piecemeal bans, Centerville administrators plan to create a series of overlay maps to make their case for a citywide prohibition, except in the two select areas.
One map will show all land where hunting is prohibited by default because state law prohibits discharging a firearm within 600 feet of a structure, and another map will show government property, City Manager Steve Thacker said.
He said officials will create a third map by asking residents who own land more than 600 feet from a structure if they want to close the property to hunting and trespass.
The three overlays blacking out the city and the proposed ordinance will go to the wildlife board for consideration. If the board approves the ban, the ordinance goes back to the City Council for a vote.
Centerville is following the lead of South Jordan, which used overlay maps to persuade the board to approve a citywide hunting restriction earlier this month. Officials there decided to pursue the ban after a hunter harvested a deer with a bow in the Jordan River area and posted pictures of the kill on his Facebook page, showing office buildings and businesses in the background.
Bluffdale Mayor Derk Timothy this spring requested a ban on shooting firearms anywhere in the city, but the City Council rejected the proposal in a 4-1 vote.