Letter to the Editor: Stop BLM cedar elimination

© 2018-Kemmerer Gazette

Once again the Bureau of Land Management has milled, mauled, masticated, and cut down more junipers (cedars) on the Crawford Mountain. Both Utah and Wyoming are involved in this non-justifiable action.

The first mastication by the Utah BLM brought nothing but chips and noxious weeds like black henbane and musk thistle.

Wyoming’s organization has intentions of moving to the east, cutting trees as they go and then burning them after they have dried out. These nonsensical actions need to stop now. Enough damage has already been done.

Sally Jewell, former Secretary of the Interior, asked for a science-based strategy to be used in these decisions, but every district came to their own conclusion of science.

They checked the box, took the apportioned money and agreed on a plan to whack down some juniper with one method or another and see if sagebrush would increase, along with a theoretical increase of sage grouse numbers,

There is no lack of Sage Brush. The insinuated command/order has nothing to do with the lack of sagebrush, as most of you know.The excuse was originally for fire suppression. Junipers do not spread fires. I can show you many lightning-caused single fire-burned Juniper. It is the sagebrush and grasses that spread fires. Ironically, the  Kemmerer Field office is doing a prescribed burn in the Pinedale area.

Sage grouse numbers did decline during the late 50s and 60s, and I’m old enough to have seen the decrease and watched the causes. Starting then, the once consistent timely spring rain and snow melt have become sporadic.

Unfortunately this hasn’t always kept damp meadows and seeps that grow the new tender forbes and small grasses that the sage grouse chicks require when they are young. Unfortunately in many areas the forbs and grasses are permanently gone.

Wyoming has been apportioned at least $12,082,564.00 for fiscal year 2017 and Utah has been apportioned at least $12,699,886.00. for wildlife restoration.

This year we have been given a ray of hope from our new Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.

Zinke stated that the Federal Government has a responsibility in their actions, and they have an obligation to be good neighbors, not levying heavy-handed, onerous regulations on the public lands to the detriment of the local communities.

There is a petition circulating soon that asks the BLM to cease and desist eliminating more junipers (cedars). Please take the time to sign it, and get your friends and family to sign it as well. This is your hunting ground and recreating area they are destroying. Let’s get this nonsense stopped and put this money to practical use.

Laurel Telford 

Randolph, Utah

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