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County Briefs

Officials hope the "Litter Hurts" media blitz educates drivers about the risks of road debris.

Litter and lost cargo cause more than 25,000 traffic accidents a year, according to a Utah Department of Transportation press release.

There are more than 1,000 cases of lost loads on the Wasatch Front each month, which leads to more than 500 serious accidents annually in Utah, the press release states.

The advertising campaign is one of the first in the nation to focus on large items like ladders, couches and mattresses left in the road.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds warns motorists to watch out for shredded tires, falling rocks and road kill.

Drivers can be fined when debris falls off vehicles. Failing to secure a load is a class B misdemeanor for which motorists in Summit County usually pay a $40 fine.

Vehicles piled with unsecured loads annually cost taxpayers in the state about $2 million, officials say.

Swaner Nature Festival

Free activities scheduled at the Swaner Nature Festival at Kimball Junction June 21 include:

  • Native plant sale
  • Kids art projects
  • Craft booths
  • Animal demonstrations from Hogle Zoo
  • Climbing wall
  • Live bluegrass music
  • Wildlife photography class
  • Nature walk
  • Birds of prey demonstration
  • Global positioning systems class
  • Wildflower and weed walk
  • GPS walks
  • Creative writing workshop

    The festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Basin Recreation Field House at 1388 W. New Main Street. Information about the events and how to volunteer at the festival is available by calling the Swaner EcoCenter at 649-1767.

    Closed fire season

    The season for open burning in Utah ended June 1. Burning anywhere in the county now requires a permit that is issued by the fire warden.

    This ban does not prohibit campfires or fires in backyard fireplaces, a press release from the state Department of Natural Resources states.

    The burning of debris has gotten out of control several times this spring, state officials say.

    Officials anticipate the burning season will reopen Nov. 1.

    Keep oils away from drains

    Officials at the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District remind people to not pour cooking grease, oil and fats down drains. The material clogs pipes, which causes wastewater to back up into homes and businesses.

    Place the material in other containers and dispose of it with trash, wastewater officials say.

    Water-wise landscaping

    A new report from the Utah Rivers Council encourages governments adopt landscaping ordinances to encourage water conservation.

    "It is important that cities adopt clear landscaping ordinances that are water-wise," Utah Rivers Council spokesman Mark Danenhauer said in a prepared statement. "A properly designed ordinance is a win-win situation. It will give homeowners flexibility in landscaping their property, while at the same time being enforceable so that cities can protect property values and maintain the safety and aesthetics of the community."

    The report presents research on landscaping ordinances from 12 cities in the West and key elements that a landscaping ordinance should include.

    "The focus of this report is on new developments because there is going to be so much new construction in the future due to Utah’s growing population," Danenhauer said. "Ensuring that new developments are water-wise to begin with will make sure that Utah’s cities can provide water to its citizens in the most cost effective manner."

    To view the report, visit the Utah Rivers Council Web site at utahrivers.org.


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