From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 41 - 6/8/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Record Dryness Has Forest Service Considerating Campfire Restrictions
Forest is drier now than this time in 1988
by Rob Shaul

Pinedale District Ranger Bob Reese told the County Commissioners Tuesday that we are currently experiencing "record dryness," and the lack of moisture has the Forest Service considering camp fire restrictions.

To illustrate the danger, Mr. Reese said a small lightening storm in the Gros Ventre yesterday started five fires. "That was an indicator that things are pretty dry," said Mr. Reese, "especially for this time of year."

Mr. Reese said that June is historically a wet month in the county, but if it remains dry for another two weeks, his agency will consider imposing campfire restrictions on forest lands. If it gets dry enough, Mr. Reese said portions of forest lands could be closed to the public. "We almost got to that point in 1988," he said - the year of the Fayette Fire above Half Moon Lake.

Lynx Restrictions - Mr. Reese also informed the commissioners that in accordance with the recent listing of the Canadian Lynx as a threatened species, the Forest Service was working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on evaluating lynx habitat in the forest. As part of that process, all timber sales on the forest have been postponed, including the clearing of ski runs at White Pine Ski Area.

According to White Pine owner Stuart Thompson, completion of the run cutting is 90% complete, and he hopes the restriction will be lifted within the next few weeks.

Roadless Initiative - Finally, Mr. Reese said he has been very disappointed by the lack of public attendance at Forest Service hearings on the recently proposed Roadless Initiative. Just 6 people attended the hearing in Marbleton, said Mr. Reese, and just 4 attended the Green River hearing. "I figured there'd be a lot more interest than there is," said Mr. Reese. A final public hearing on the initiative will be held in Marbleton in late June.

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Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul