Fishlake National Forest officials are planning to obliterate 65 miles of "wheel track" roads and conduct a timber sale on the Loa Ranger District, and have approved treatment on up to 40,000 acres for control of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers on the Fillmore Ranger District.
Acting Supervisor Ronald K. Tew said many of the roads that will be obliterated are routes that have happened as a result of cross-country travel, primarily during big game hunts. "These roads and travel routes have become sources of erosion resulting in reduced water quality and loss of top soil."Gates will also be installed on 58 miles of the little-used roads to eliminate travel during wet conditions. The program will involve road-bed ripping, waterbarring, original contour restoration, seeding, fencing and placing signs.
The supervisor added that the high concentration of roads in some areas seriously affects the well-being of wildlife.
Because of the low priority of providing needed travel ways, money has not been budgeted for maintenance and won't be in the future, Tew said.
The road obliteration program will require several years, the time of completion depending on the amount of money that becomes available. The obliterations were recommended by a citizens committee and presented for comment in public meetings.
Grasshoppers and crickets will be treated in Millard County by the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. APHIS has conducted control programs on federal lands in that county for several years since an outbreak of Mormon crickets became serious.
Forest officials said documents relating to an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact may be requested from the ranger district in Fillmore or the supervisor's office in Richfield. The decision is subject to appeal.
The timber sale will be on the East Tidwell drainage. Loa District Ranger Gary Laing said some 5,000 board feet will be harvested.