County Watch |

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The Utah Department of Transportation wants to put fences up along a stretch of Interstate 80 where more than 200 deer, elk and moose have been hit and killed in recent years, the Associated Press reported.

The agency is proposing to use about $400,000 in federal stimulus funds for the project in Parleys Canyon, which connects Park City to Salt Lake City, according to the Associated Press.

According to state Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Doug Sakaguchi, about 214 deer were killed on the nine-mile stretch between 2005 and 2008.

Eight-foot-high wire fences are designed to keep animals off the interstate. State wildlife officials estimate about 10,000 deer are killed a year on state roads, though it’s difficult to get an accurate count.

The number of collisions between vehicles and deer in Utah has increased about 25 percent over the last five years, according to John Bissonette, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist.

The state’s population is growing, more cars are on the road and people are driving farther, he said.

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A 2005 study identified some of Utah’s most common spots for collisions between vehicles and wildlife. Among them were U.S. 40 and I-80.

Justice Court nominees

The three nominees for a judicial vacancy in the Summit County Justice Court are Salt Lake City resident Gus Chin, a former Summit County prosecutor, former Summit County Commissioner Shauna Kerr and Taylorsville Justice Court Judge Marsha Thomas, of Salt Lake City.

A nominating commission selected the three candidates as possible replacements for Judge Lynn Sadler who retired from the bench Feb. 1.

A comment period will be held through April 13, before the names are submitted to Interim Summit County Manager Brian Bellamy. Bellamy has 30 days to make an appointment.

The Utah Judicial Council must then confirm the appointment. Holly Frischknecht with the Administrative Office of the Courts is accepting written comments at

Recycling initiatives

The Summit County Recycling Task Force has set sustainability goals for 2009 that address development code issues, electronic waste disposal and expanded recycling efforts through collaborations with cities in the county.

"In 2009, we’re transitioning from an internal departmental task force to a group that has a more external focus," Summit County Senior Planner Adryan Slaght said in a prepared statement. "The task force is very excited about collaborating with the cities of Coalville, Henefer, Kamas and Oakley, to identify and improve sustainability issues of mutual concern to the county and the citizens of our towns and cities."

The Recycling Task Force is comprised of county employees from planning, public works, facilities and administrative departments.

The panel will review language this year that could require new developments in Summit County include recycling facilities. Construction workers could be required to dispose of their own recyclable materials properly and to make arrangements for reuse of some construction supplies, according to Slaght.

Meanwhile, to address the problem of electronic waste, vendors of all new computers in Summit County could be required to recycle machines when they become outdated. Electronic waste, like computers, keyboards, iPods and televisions can be recycled at the Three Mile Canyon landfill on State Road 32 near Wanship.

The Recycling Task Force is also working closely with Summit County Fair organizers to promote the reuse of recyclable cups and plates at fair events.

The group met last year to create plans for recycling in county buildings. The effort was launched by installing recycling centers at the Sheldon Richins Building, Summit County Courthouse and Summit County Justice Center.

"We also established an office supply reuse room at the courthouse to encourage employees to look there first for file folders, pens, binders and equipment before ordering anything new," Slaght said. "This little office supply store has already saved taxpayers money."

Contact Slaght for more information about recycling programs at (435) 336-3158.