Extensive environmental studies will be conducted this year on a forestwide basis as well as on each ranger district of the Fishlake National Forest, Kent Taylor, forest supervisor, announced recently.
An environmental analysis for treatment of noxious weeds and control of infestations of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers are high on the priority list. Taylor said there has been an "epidemic" of insects on some areas of the forest for several years.The forest-wide environmental analysis will study treatment of poisonous plants and noxious weeds through mechanical, chemical and biological methods. Site specific effects of weed treatment will also be analyzed, Taylor said.
Environmental analysis scheduled on each of the four ranger districts will be as follows:
- Richfield District (includes Monroe Mountain and Salina Canyon areas) - Range treatment projects, fisheries habitat improvement, and obliterating roads that have not been constructed and either serve no identified purpose or are causing resource damage are under study.
Range treatment and fence work in Lost Creek will be analyzed as well as methods to retreat pinyon and juniper chainings in the Triangle Mountain and Lost Creek areas. Reconstruction of reservoirs in the Gooseberry area will be studied.
- Loa District (Fish Lake and Thousand Lake Mountain areas) - Projects ranging from campground construction to fish habitat improvement will be analyzed.
Officials are looking at the feasibility of fish barriers on Lake Creek to prevent movement of suckers from Fish Lake to Johnson Reservoir, and vegetative and structural improvements along Sevenmile Creek to improve fish habitation. The latter would include willow plantings and bank stabilization.
Other proposed projects are burns to remove sagebrush and aspen for rejuvenating native grasses; campground, trailhead and horse loading facility near north end of Fish Lake Valley; and converting an open ditch to pipeline for transmitting water from Neff's Reservoir to stock watering facilities.
Also, building a mile of logworm fence and developing two springs with watering troughs; constructing a fishing pier for handicapped at Twin Creeks on the west shore of Fish Lake; and creating additional habitat for the threatened Utah prairie dog species.
- Beaver District (Tushar Mountains) - Officials will analyze burns near Cove Creek, North Cedar, Mumford and Mud Springs, installing watering troughs in the North Indian allotment, and two timber sales that would include 1.5 million board feet.
Two watershed and four fish habitat improvement projects are on the docket. Watershed projects are in the North Fork of Three Creeks and the Iant Creek that would include check dams. Willow planting and bank stabilization by installing log structures are being considered along the Beaver River, and Bonneville trout habitat improvement along the North Fork of North Creek.
The feasibility of rehabilitating Little Cottonwood Campground to provide handicapped access is being considered as well as a group recreational site at Birch Creek.
Increasing the size of the Rocky Basin Prairie Dog exclosure is being studied.
- Fillmore District (Pahvant and Canyon ranges) - Fisheries improvements, watershed rehabilitation, general range projects and obliterating roads are included in the environmental analysis in this district.
Fisheries improvements are proposed in Sam Stowe Canyon, First Creek and Charlesworth Valley. Seeding and bank shaping are under study. Watershed rehabilitation is a possibility in the Mill Creek drainage and the Wide Canyon area.
The range improvement projects are under consideration in the Cedar Ridge Allotment. Management plans are being analyzed for the Pioneer and Grass Creek allotments. The Cedar Ridge project would include the construction of three water ponds and chaining of 1,000 acres.
District officials are also considering obliterating roads that were not constructed but were developed by vehicle traffic in areas that cause resource damage and don't have a specific purpose.