Plans have been announced for removing unwanted young pinyon and juniper trees on up to 5,000 acres of forest land on which chaining projects were previously completed in Sevier and Millard counties.
The project will be conducted during the next five years with between 500 and 1,000 acres to be treated each year. Removal will be done with hand tools, such as saws, pulaskis and axes, according to Douglas P. Reid, Fillmore District ranger. He said prescribed fire may be used in combination with the hand cutting.Wildlife will not be adversely affected by the tree elimination, he said.
The areas are within the boundaries of these grazing allotments: Whiskey Creek, north of Holden; Wildgoose, east of Holden; Chalk Creek, east of Fillmore; Cedar Ridge, west of Aurora; and Grass Creek, east of Cove Fort.
Reid said the management plan emphasizes livestock grazing on the allotments except for the south edge of Red Canyon in the Cedar Ridge allotment. That area is designated for habitat of other species.
"The project will maintain wildlife and livestock forage, prevent erosion and the loss of ground cover and protect the original investment of chaining," Reid said. The proposed action is within low impact range management and fish and wildlife management activities, so there will be insignificant effect, he added.
The decision to conduct the project is subject to appeal and administrative review. An appeal would have to be filed with the forest supervisor in Richfield by early December.
Richfield District Ranger Rance L. Rollins also announced a half-mile barbed wire fence will be erected south of the Lizonbee administrative site in cooperation with the Quitchumpah C&H Grazing allotment. It will be used to improve cattle distribution and to keep livestock from drifting to other units.
The area has been known for archaeological findings, but a survey has been completed and forest officials conclude there will be no significant impact to cultural resources.