County Watch | ParkRecord.com

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

Applications are due this month from organizations in Summit County wishing to be considered for a 2008 grant from the Recreation Arts and Parks Tax, said Tim Douglas, chairman of the RAP Tax Recreation Advisory Committee.

Grant applications are available until Feb. 29, according to Douglas. The application can be accessed online at http://www.summitcounty.org or by contacting Susan Ovard at 336-3025, 783-4351 ext. 3025 or 615-3025 in Park City and the Snyderville Basin.

The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. Applications should be submitted at the County Courthouse at 60 N. Main in Coalville, Summit County Library at 6505 N. Landmark Drive or the Summit County Library at 110 N. Main in Kamas.

The application provides an outline of the specific criteria, eligibility requirements and the process which the advisory committee uses.

Other committee members include Kurt Daenitz, Kathy Sorenson, Kathy Apostlakos, Julie Simonds, Marla Garfield and Meg Steele.

Deadline nears for wild rivers

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Today less than one percent of the nation’s rivers remain free from dams and diversions, according to the Utah Rivers Council.

Until Feb. 15, the U.S. Forest Service will accept public feedback about its recommendation that pared a list of 86 rivers that were potential candidates for protection from the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which was passed 30 years ago to counter rapid construction of dams in the United States.

Congress must act to designate rivers as wild, scenic or recreational. Wild rivers show little evidence of any development with access only via trails, officials say.

E-mail comments to utahnfwsdeis@fscomments.org. Information about wild and scenic rivers is available at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/rivers/.

Several streams in the Uinta Mountains east of Kamas should be protected by the act, Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said.

Rivers must have local or regional significance, be free flowing and exhibit "outstandingly remarkable" natural, cultural or recreational traits to receive protection.

Begin building green

Recycle Utah will hold two evenings of free consultation for residents who want to incorporate green building techniques into their new construction and renovations.

Experts will be hand at Recycle Utah, 1951 Woodbine Way, to review building plans and recommend heating and cooling systems, passive solar, air quality techniques, ecological building materials, water saving devices, environmentally sound water softening systems and other green building techniques.

Consultations are by appointment only in 30-minute intervals on Feb. 13 and March 12 beginning at 5 p.m., according to a Recycle Utah press release.

For more information contact Recycle Utah at 649-9698.

U.S. Forest Service to downsize

Some things will not change when the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache National Forests merge, Kamas District Ranger Cathy Kahlow said.

"It’s purely budget driven," Kahlow told the Summit County Commission. "We’ve already reduced our employees by five."

But nearly 20 jobs could potentially be impacted, she said.

"The two forests are combining," Kahlow said.

The U.S. Forest Service will still have an office in Kamas, she added.

The Forest Service intends to continue staffing the Kamas District office after the merger.

"The Kamas office, I dare say, was used a lot more than the Heber office," Kahlow said.

The bulk of visits to national forests in Utah occur in the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache, according to Kahlow.

The U.S. Forest Service is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and oversees about 1.2 million acres of land in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, which includes rugged slopes in the Uinta Mountains. The Uinta National Forest lies adjacent to the southern edge of the Wasatch-Cache and was the first national forest in Utah, the U.S. Forest Service Web site states.

The budget cuts are necessary because operation costs have increased and money allocated by Congress for the Forest Service has dropped, officials say.

The public won’t notice effects from merging the Uinta and Wasatch-Cache, Kahlow said.

Kahlow said she expects attrition and retirement to account for most of the job reduction.

Today firefighting costs consume almost 50 percent of the overall Forest Service budget, officials said.

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