Wasatch Environmental Update for June 10, 2018
By John Worlock
“Wilderness Stewardship Project’
Listen up! We have a pretty good piece of news for you. It’s a good piece of news also for the Wilderness in the Wasatch. We have forged a stewardship project with the Forest Service to help in taking care of the three Wilderness Areas in the Central Wasatch.
We are extremely fond of our three local wildernesses, named for their prominent mountain peaks: The Lone Peak, the Twin Peak and the Mount Olympus; all of them easily visible and highly accessible from the Salt Lake Valley. We are also proud of our part in their designations as Wilderness, and we continue to campaign for even more Wilderness in our neighborhood.
Wilderness designation is important since it is the strictest and most permanent protection that can be afforded to a piece of public property. The protection guarantees that a wilderness will remain quiet, unpopulated and undeveloped, allowing nature to flourish and human solitude to remain available. These rare qualities sorely need that protection.
Surely we have convinced you that we are serious supporters of Wilderness. Hence the good news that we will be working with the Forest Service this summer in our Wilderness Stewardship Project.
Federal budgets are stretched thin these days, and environmental budgets have suffered worse than most. The Forest Service, in particular, has a hard time mounting the manpower first to police their millions of acres, then to keep clean and in good repair what we will call their infrastructure: their roads and hiking paths, their campsites, their creeksides and lakefronts, their forests and their mountaintops. They are also responsible for the wellbeing of the wildlife: all manner of mammals, birds and fishes, as well as the wildflowers we enjoy each spring.
We have organized a series of Saturday outings in which we and our lucky volunteers will walk into one of the local Wilderness Areas with the intent of cleaning and repairing the infrastructure under the guidance of Forest Rangers. While there, of course, we will be watching for wildlife and listening for birdsong, while perhaps getting acquainted with other lovers of Wasatch Wilderness.
Listen up again! Our first Wilderness Stewardship Project is this Saturday, June 16. Call us for information at 801-363-SAVE. Or visit saveourcanyons.org.