Members and officers of Utah's Wildlife Federation met for their annual convention Saturday and listened to reports on acid rain, a need for national unity in dealing with natural resources and the future hopes for Antelope Island.
The convention wrapped up today with business meetings, the election of new officers and the adoption of resolutions to be supported for the coming year.During a panel discussion early Saturday dealing with the national theme "Forests Are More Than Trees," Lenny Green of Carlisle, Pa., chairman of the National Wildlife Service, told the group the No. 1 goal of the NWS is to get the Clean Air Act re-authorized.
"And as part of that we hope to get through an amendment to reduce acid rain (mainly caused by the burning of petroleum products) by 50 percent, or by 10 million tons each year. Realize, of course, it will take us at least five years to get this through, then another five before we see any reasonable reduction.
"But it's something we've got to do. I was up in Canada recently and flew over lakes up there that were dead because of acid rain, and these were large lakes. Back in Pennsylvania, there are some high mountain lakes we've stopped planting. They're dead. Fish can't live there.
"We know the problem, we're just not putting enough money into finding alternative sources of energy. Each administration puts its head in the sand and says let the next one handle it. Realize, too, even is we reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by half, we'd still be releasing 10 million tons annually."
Luncheon speaker J. Lamar Beasely of Nashville, Tenn., deputy chief of the National Forest Systems, U.S. Forest Service, told the group that because of high public interest in public lands, added emphasis was being placed there.
He also told the group it was unlikely budgets would be increased, "so what we've got to do is look for innovative ways of getting the job done. The old ways just won't work."
One of those ways, he explained, involves private contributions placed where there was matching federal funds. He said last year $2.5 million in private funding was put into forest projects . . . "which worked out that for ever $1.65 in private money put into programs, it was matched with about $1 in federal money."
Jerry Miller, director of the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, explained that future plans for Antelope Island include the introduction of new animals when conditions are right, including elk and antelope, and to someday possibly have a resort community to included a hotel, golf course, restaurants and more.
About the buffalo, he said the DPR would continue to sell off and hunt the animals to raise needed funds to improve the island. This year plans are to remove and sell 64 surplus animals and issue permits to hunt 10.
Later in the evening, the group also presented annual awards. They included Salt Lake attorney Kenley Brunsdale receiving the Conservationist of the Year Award; Senator Wayne Owens being presented the Legislator of the Year Award; Brent Hanchett of Vernal, being given the Utah Hunter Education Instructor of the Year Award; Ted Gardiner, a Division of Wildlife Resources officer in the Northeastern Region, receiving the Shikar-Safari Outstanding Officer Award; and JoAnn Stewart, also with the DWR, being given the K.E. Bullock Award for her excellent work with the DWR.