Centerville recommends scaled-back hunting ban

Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 8:20 p.m. MDT

Enzio Busche of Bountiful rides his bike on the Legacy Parkway Trail in Davis County, Utah, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

CENTERVILLE — Runners, cyclists and horseback riders soon won't have to share the Legacy Parkway Trail with hunters.

And hunters won't have to give up Farmington Bay.

The Centerville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend to state wildlife officials that hunting be banned in the city, except for the area west of Sheep Road and east of Firebreak road.

The proposed ban would address Police Chief Neal Worsley's safety concerns while allowing hunters continued access to Farmington Bay.

"This would make most of the city under a (hunting) prohibition," said Steve Thacker, city manager.

The Utah Wildlife Board is expected to consider the recommendation at its Aug. 16 meeting. If approved, which city officials say is likely, the City Council would adopt the ban by ordinance.

The ban is a scaled-back version of the proposal in February that sought to prohibit hunting throughout the city. Worsley spearheaded the prohibition, calling it an issue of public safety.

The main concern has been the stretch of pasture and wetlands west of I-15, an area that has been popular with waterfowl hunters over the years, Worsley said.

But the opening of Legacy Parkway in 2008, followed by its parallel trail a year later, created a conflict of uses. As city and state laws now stand, a hunter could legally shoot from one side of the trail, targeting ducks or geese on the other side, Worsley said.

By making Sheep Road the boundary on the city's west side, Farmington Bay would still be open for hunting, and the Legacy Parkway Trail would be comfortably inside the no-hunting zone.

The discharge of a firearm already is illegal throughout the city — except by those with hunting licenses during designated waterfowl seasons.

Under state law, seasonal hunting is allowed on the 200-plus acres from Centerville's north border to the industrial park to the south, and between Legacy Parkway and the Legacy Nature Preserve to the west.

Thacker said the initial proposal didn't take into account Farmington Bay's popularity among waterfowl hunters.

"We just didn't realize or appreciate that the city limits reached out into that area and would have affected that," he said. "It was a lack of understanding on our part."

Duck hunters flocked to City Hall for a public hearing in February to protest the proposed ban. As a result, the issue was put on hold until more study could be done on other areas potentially impacted by the ban.

City officials also were working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to come up with no-hunting boarders that would address the city's concerns but also be easily explained to hunters.

Thacker said he believes the proposed ban between Sheep and Firebreak roads and the city's north and south borders fits that description.

"We expect the state Wildlife Board to approve that recommendation," he said.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS