A Uinta National Forest spokesman is concerned about some of the public comments made by local residents concerning forest operations.
Loyal F. Clark, public affairs representative for Uinta National Forest, said there are no plans to gate the Salt Creek Canyon area and then charge an entrance fee. She said comments to that effect appearing in local press accounts are misleading.Livestock will not be kept from the land, she said. "Almost all of the Uinta National Forest is grazed by livestock under grazing permits. The Forest Service is committed to using livestock grazing as a renewable forage resource," said Clark.
"Grazing will be maintained as part of the multiple-use mission."
Clark acknowledged that there are some areas where resource problems exist because of over-grazing and some areas where grazing sometimes conflicts with recreation activities. "The Forest is confident that the uses can co-exist," said Clark.
Grazing allotments, on the Uinta National Forest, are managed under a three pasture rest rotation system, said Clark.
"Under this system, one-third of the allotment is grazed early, one-third is grazed late, and one-third is rested from grazing each year," said Clark. Rotating the use pattern allowed the physiological needs of the plants to be met and increases forage production.
"The key to this system," said Clark, "is leaving livestock in certain pastures until it is time to move."
Fences, said Clark, assist the grazing permittees in keeping their livestock in the right pasture.
"One of the problems the permittees have, especially in the fall, are gates left open by the public. Livestock are quick to find the open gate and when they get into the rest pasture it only takes a few head and a little use to negate the benefits of the grazing system," said Clark.
Those who visit forest lands can help by closing gates after entering or leaving forest land.
Many of the forest roads are maintained through agreements with Utah, Tooele, Wasatch and Juab counties, she said. Under the agreements, counties receive gas tax funding from the state to maintain forest roads.
"There are no fees charged to use forest system roads," she said.
The Uinta National Forest campgrounds are operated and maintained through a contract, said Clark. "By using a contract, the Forest Service is able to provide better service - 24-hour presence, sites cleaned after each use, and someone available to answer questions and explain policies," said Clark.
She said 65 percent of the fees collected are returned to the Uinta National Forest, 25 percent are returned to Juab County, and 10 percent are used for road main-te-nance.
Through the return of these fees, Spanish Fork Ranger district personnel maintain all of the campgrounds and renovate and reconstruct older camping facilities.