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FISHLAKE FOREST IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED

Fishlake National Forest personnel will conduct four prescribed burns totaling more than 4,600 acres in the Beaver Ranger District of the Fishlake National Forest, according to forest supervisor J. Kent Taylor.

It also was announced that environmental analyses of several proposed projects is on the docket in the Loa Ranger District. Trout habitat improvement also is planned in Salina Creek in the Richfield District.Intentional burns will be conducted in the Birch Creek area, Mud Flats area of Clear Creek, in Baker Canyon and in the Oak Basin, Cottonwood and City Creek areas.

The purpose of the burns is to maintain forage potential for grazing allotments, Taylor said. The goals are to readjust classes of browse plants to a more desirable age distribution, improve habitat diversity for wildlife and enhance grasses and forbs.

The Birch Creek burn will involve 720 acres on the South Beaver allotment. The area was previously reseeded but is being encroached upon by pinyon-juniper, sagebrush and oak. Burning will be done to remove part of the woody vegetation, Taylor said.

Forest personnel will burn 1,100 acres in the Mud Flats area on the Clear Creek allotment, also to remove a part of the woody vegetation. This was previously revegetated.

Burning of 1,000 acres in the Baker Canyon area on the North Beaver allotment will help maintain forage potential for livestock and big game, Taylor said.

The fourth project will be for the same basic purposes and includes 1,800 acres in the Oak Basin, Cottonwood and City Creek areas of the Circleville allotment.

Environmental analyses will be conducted for a riparian protection fence south of Forsyth Reservoir, for a highly erosive watershed in Pole Canyon on Thousand Lake Mountain and for a proposed trail along the shoreline of Fish Lake, all in the Loa District.

An all-terrain trail from Strawberry Flat to Betensen Flat in the Beaver District also is planned.

Taylor said the fence at the south edge of Forsyth Reservoir will eliminate excess livestock graving on UM Creek, considered a valued riparian and watershed area.

The Pole Canyon project will consist of installing small rock and tree drop structures, as well as seeding, to curtail erosion on about 150 acres.

The trail at Fish Lake will be an extension of an existing national scenic trail, Taylor said. It will be built past the Lakeside Resort and the Doctor Creek Campground to the south end of the lake and then along the east side. It will cross Lake Creek on the north end of Fish Lake to Pelican Point.

Only non-motorized recreation use will be allowed on the trail, Taylor said.

Rock and log structures will be erected in Salina Creek to promote pool development and provide overhead cover along the stream for trout. Bank stability also will be improved by planting willows and seeding grasses and forbs (broad-leafed herbaceous plants).

The ATV trail in the Beaver District will involve 15 miles. Six miles of new trail will be built and nine miles of existing trail will be improved.