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Old 04-05-2001, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Info on the Salt Creek meeting in Utah


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This is a report from Todd on the meeting to reopen Salt Creek (Canyon
Lands) to motorized use

Subject:
Salt Creek Open house in Salt Lake City
Date:
Tue, 3 Apr 2001 22:44:25 -0600
From:
"Todd G Adams"
To:snip

A quick report on the Salt Creek Open House last night.
We had a very good turn out but then so did SUWA. Our people got to spend
some quality time with Jerry Banta, Fred Patton and other Park Officials.
Many of the motorized user crowd came with photo albums showing 2 or 3
generations throughout the years taken near Angel Arch. I did notice that
a
few of the SUWA people like Steve Bloch had Jerry's ear for a bit, but most
of the time the SUWA people sat huddled around their table. Jerry and
company spent most of the time chatting with the motorized folk.
The bottom line on the possible re opening of Salt Creek is this: The EA
will be done by December and a decision made that will not allow court
intervention from either side no matter what the outcome.
Right now Jerry is leaning towards opening the road but the new National
Park Mandates concerning impairment may take this out of his hands,
depending on what the findings of the EA are. There are many issues they
are
looking at, the least of which is water quality, although this will be
monitored starting in May.
Jerry was the Needles District Ranger back in the late '60's. One of his
first comments to me was about the introduction of tamarisk or saltcedar,
a
non native plant, that has changed forever the nature of the canyon.
Tamarisk has created the repairian state of Salt Creek. Now when there is
a
flood, instead of fanning out into the old wide stream bead, a deep narrow
channel is cut even deeper. We could both remember the wide sandy area
before entering the canyon. Now it is an alley in the overgrowth. This fact
leads to the complexity of the problem.
Jerry was receptive to many of our ideas on how to keep canyon from being
permanently closed. Some of the ideas were seasonal closures due to high
water levels, resting periods, like closing the canyon every other year
or
every two years, fewer numbers of vehicle, etc.
The SUWA people could not grasp the concept that we wanted to protect this
place as much as they did. In there minds eye, one vehicle up the canyon
would forever damage the canyon. Up until tonight I did not know there had
been a jeep trail that went all the way up the canyon, past All American
Man, through Big Pocket and connected via a dugway to the overlook road.
There is no visible trace of this road today, 40 years later. I rest my
case.
Todd









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Old 04-05-2001, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We ran this road 4 years ago when we got tired of the crowds @ EJS. They allowed 20 vehicles a day up the trail. You checked in with the ranger and got the combination to the gate. The 20 miles of road ran up a pretty valley with about 15% of the time driving right up the creek. The creek is loaded with salt and (oh my god) arsnic. There were several archs, indian cliff dwellings, and old ranch buildings to view. We ran into 2 teenage hikers who went in unprepared (didn't carry their own water). We gave them a ride out. This is the perfect trail for a family SUV run, and I hope they open it up again.

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Old 04-06-2001, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah i have read alot about it and it seem like a fun little get a way, nothing to hard core just a fun trail ride

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