Salt Lake residents living in some 4,500 homes in the Mount Olympus Cove area are being asked to go the extra mile as they face a quarantine order that will likely be both inconvenient and burdensome this spring - and maybe even longer.
Unfortunately, it is a necessary burden as Utah agriculture and forestry officials take steps to eradicate a gypsy moth infestation that poses a multimillion-dollar threat to trees, shrubs, watershed and other vegetation if left unchecked.Area residents will have to put up with at least three helicopter sprayings scheduled for May and will also have to live with some 7,000 traps that will be placed in the area to help officials determine the success of the quarantine and spraying efforts. And, area residents will have to bear the stigma that goes with the placing of large metal signs marking the quarantine zone.
The quarantine order will affect movement of boats, campers and other recreational vehicles as well as mobile homes, camping gear, trees, shrubs and prunings, timber, building materials and outdoor household and garden items.
The quarantine will not mean an end to life as we know it for Mount Olympus Cove residents, but it will mean having to deal with a little red tape in the way of special inspections of vehicles and the filling out of forms indicating that the proper inspections have been completed and passed.
Area residents will still be able to use and enjoy their recreation vehicles but not without the inspections needed to ensure the moths are not being transported out of the area.
The measures may seem extreme, but they are necessary. The ravenous pest has been known to strip bark from entire forests, killing the barren trees left behind.
Fellow Utahns should be appreciative of the "Good Neighbor" willingness of those affected to sacrifice their convenience to solve a problem that could have widespread impact on other Salt Lake areas if left uncontrolled.