Juab County commissioners are calling on members of a citizen committee once again to help make a decision about what should be done in Salt Creek Canyon.
A citizen committee was appointed by the commission three years ago to negotiate with the Forest Service and act as a go-between for county residents and the County Commission. Commissioners appointed the committee because of an outcry by county residents when the Forest Service prohibited all dispersed camping along the highway on Forest Service grounds. The highway borders Salt Creek.Residents and committee members wanted a 500-foot corridor along the highway opened to camping once again.
The committee successfully negotiated with the Forest Service to rebuild Cottonwood Campground, which the Forest Service had demolished because of concern about cottonwood trees in the area being unsafe.
At that time, the committee also negotiated an agreement with the Forest Service that commissioners accepted. The agreement called on the Forest Service to allow the county to build another campground where campers could stay for free. The two camping areas in Salt Creek, prior to the reconstruction of Cottonwood, were Bear Canyon and Ponderosa Campground, both fee areas.
Committee members were unsuccessful in a bid to open the 500-foot corridor along the highway to dispersed camping. It has been suggested the commission try to obtain the rights to the 500-foot corridor by exchanging property with the Forest Service.
A recent letter to commissioners from Douglas F. Bates, coordinator of school law and legislation for the Utah State Board of Education, gave hope a land exchange might be possible.
Commissioners will meet with members of the citizen committee before deciding whether to try to obtain a 500-foot corridor along the Salt Creek road all the way from U-132 to Bear Canyon.
The commission gave Dale Worwood, a member of the committee, the go-ahead to prepare the application to acquire the property on a trade.
Bates' letter said there are 178,812 acres of state school trust lands in Juab County. "We are concerned that the maximum revenue consistent with sound management be generated for education by these lands," Bates said.
The governor, Bates said, is pushing to exchange state trust lands surrounded by federal lands such as national parks, Indian reservations and national forests where such exchanges would be in the state's best interests.
"We would like to receive a list of any lands in your county currently in federal ownership that you would like to see the state acquire to encourage future development of your county," Bates wrote.
Commissioner Richard Brough said the letter may offer an opportunity for the county to exchange the 500-foot strip along the Salt Creek roadway, even though it probably does not qualify as part of the state school trust.