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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys.... Time to get serious about this.

To many issues are coming around due to this invasive weed. What can we do about it?

Utah Air quality Department has issues with burning of the phrag and our current gov wont do diddly about it.

We need to raise a fuss to our state reps about the problem this is causing...

Canals are being choked out due to the stuff, water levels from the GSL are shrinking due to the water sucking phrag... To help our drought we NEED the GSL back to normal levels and phrag is NOT helping...

Anyone have Ideas on who to email or contact? I feel that internet venting isn't helping...


Here is a link for Utah State Legislature Members... Find your district and EMAIL YOUR REPS to let them know your issues and concerns for the well being of our waterfowl and GSL....


Wondering if we need to get some of the conservation groups, like DU, Delta Waterfowl and maybe even some of the bigger ones since snow pack directly impacts big game...

WE NEED TO RAISE OUR VOICE.... We need action not talk! Who's with me and how can we get our voices heard????
 

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One of the issues is that a permit is needed for any burn in excess of 20 acres in size and those require certain conditions etc which sometimes are hard to meet in advance. What needs to be done is to get with the DWR at burn time and provide them with manpower. If there was sufficient manpower, fire lines could be created and a series of 20 acre plots burned in a single day. With enough men and equipment I believe several hundred acres could be burned in a day safely. However that is going to require probably a minimum of 50 people willing to devote a day to help. I do have some experience in controlled burns having done some of them in college and work.
 

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There is major reluctance among the various counties to add Phragmites to the noxious weed listing because it would force them to act on it and that is expensive. So that makes controlling it in canals, ditches, ponds, etc, very difficult.
The phrag on the Great Salt Lake marshes is where the vast majority of it resides. This land is administered by the State of Utah (Dept of Fire, Forestry and State Lands - FFSL). Here is what they are supposed to be doing with our state lands by law:

Under State and Federal law, the governing doctrine is that of Sovereign Lands. The state recognizes this according to the following from the Division of Fire, Forestry & State Lands website:
http://www.ffsl.utah.gov/index.php/state-lands
State Lands
"The State of Utah recognizes and declares that the beds of navigable waters within the state are owned by the state and are among the basic resources of the state, and that there exists, and has existed since statehood, a public trust over and upon the beds of these waters. It is also recognized that the public health, interest, safety, and welfare require that all uses on, beneath or above the beds of navigable lakes and streams of the state be regulated, so that the protection of navigation, fish and wildlife habitat, aquatic beauty, public recreation, and water quality will be given due consideration and balanced against the navigational or economic necessity or justification for, or benefit to be derived from, any proposed use."

Obviously, the State of Utah has shown that it can not handle the demands of administering our state-owned public lands. But, nonetheless, the FFSL is the best chance we have of phrag being managed. There is a new generation of mangers at the FFSL over the last few years that actually seem to care about the Great Salt Lake and the invasive species that threaten our wetlands...so I have higher hopes now than ever before.
R
 

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West side Utah Lake
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There is major reluctance among the various counties to add Phragmites to the noxious weed listing because it would force them to act on it and that is expensive. So that makes controlling it in canals, ditches, ponds, etc, very difficult.
The phrag on the Great Salt Lake marshes is where the vast majority of it resides. This land is administered by the State of Utah (Dept of Fire, Forestry and State Lands - FFSL). Here is what they are supposed to be doing with our state lands by law:

Under State and Federal law, the governing doctrine is that of Sovereign Lands. The state recognizes this according to the following from the Division of Fire, Forestry & State Lands website:
http://www.ffsl.utah.gov/index.php/state-lands
State Lands
"The State of Utah recognizes and declares that the beds of navigable waters within the state are owned by the state and are among the basic resources of the state, and that there exists, and has existed since statehood, a public trust over and upon the beds of these waters. It is also recognized that the public health, interest, safety, and welfare require that all uses on, beneath or above the beds of navigable lakes and streams of the state be regulated, so that the protection of navigation, fish and wildlife habitat, aquatic beauty, public recreation, and water quality will be given due consideration and balanced against the navigational or economic necessity or justification for, or benefit to be derived from, any proposed use."

Obviously, the State of Utah has shown that it can not handle the demands of administering our state-owned public lands. But, nonetheless, the FFSL is the best chance we have of phrag being managed. There is a new generation of mangers at the FFSL over the last few years that actually seem to care about the Great Salt Lake and the invasive species that threaten our wetlands...so I have higher hopes now than ever before.
R
Does the DWR have the authority to burn on WMA's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RJ,

I emailed the davis county commissioner and also my district legislative and rep about this issue this morning. I did hear back from Todd and he mentioned he would consider it and appreciated my email. What more can the average joe do?

How can we hold these people accountable? Does this need to be brought to the steps of a building or what?
 

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RJ,

I emailed the davis county commissioner and also my district legislative and rep about this issue this morning. I did hear back from Todd and he mentioned he would consider it and appreciated my email. What more can the average joe do?

How can we hold these people accountable? Does this need to be brought to the steps of a building or what?
Petitions by duck hunters, social media attention, and some volunteers and raised money can go a LONG way. First step is having access to some keys to the kingdom.
 

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That dude that started a fire out by howard slough had a good idea, but the FFSL spent many thousands of our tax dollars with air tankers and helicopters putting out a fire that was burning outside of the dike and had no where to go but out to the GSL. It would have burned itself out and provided a great service toward removing deep thatch of phragmites out there. Oh well, that is our state managing our public lands.

The DWR has to coordinate with the FFSL fire boss and with Dept of Air Quality before a burn can occur. If the atmospheric conditions are perfect, they will then need to scramble a fire crew. Obviously this is an insurmountable task, so we will probably never see a prescribed burn in Davis or Weber counties.

Contacting your legislator is a GREAT way to keep them aware of their responsibility to protect our public wetlands. Sadly, they try and de-fund efforts to protect our state-owned marshes every year during the legislative session. But there are a couple of groups that fight for the marsh every year and they have succeeded in stopping the worst of the worst ideas.
R
 

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West side Utah Lake
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That dude that started a fire out by howard slough had a good idea, but the FFSL spent many thousands of our tax dollars with air tankers and helicopters putting out a fire that was burning outside of the dike and had no where to go but out to the GSL. It would have burned itself out and provided a great service toward removing deep thatch of phragmites out there. Oh well, that is our state managing our public lands.

The DWR has to coordinate with the FFSL fire boss and with Dept of Air Quality before a burn can occur. If the atmospheric conditions are perfect, they will then need to scramble a fire crew. Obviously this is an insurmountable task, so we will probably never see a prescribed burn in Davis or Weber counties.

Contacting your legislator is a GREAT way to keep them aware of their responsibility to protect our public wetlands. Sadly, they try and de-fund efforts to protect our state-owned marshes every year during the legislative session. But there are a couple of groups that fight for the marsh every year and they have succeeded in stopping the worst of the worst ideas.
R
Does that go for any size burn or can you burn at your own discretion if the burn size is under 20 acres?
 

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To bad mother nature doesn't have a repeat flood of the 80's and let all the salt water kill it all with out all the damage to the dikes.
 

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They can't manage the Great Salt Lake but by god if they got a hold of our BLM and Forest Service lands they'd be able to manage those. Their incompetence and hypocrisy should be pointed out and plastered everywhere. If these idiots can't take care of the few state lands we have, you have to be a real idiot to buy into their idea they can manage millions of acres of land under constant attack.

Post up some emails and phone numbers and I'll send them to as many as needed. The GSL needs to be protected, preserved, and improved and so does its shorelines and water sources before development destroys them. It's too important to important to waterfowl and other species to let it slowly die away.
 

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As for getting a permit to burn without getting a fire crew put together--
Apparently private lands (like duck clubs) can burn. The WMA's have not been able to...maybe because they can't subdivide the units into small parcels to be under the limit. I'm just not sure about that. The end result is no burns in the WMA's for the last 5 years or so. The one time that the atmospheric conditions were perfect and they were able to get a fire crew, was the same day Gov Herbert was giving a speech about air quality in the Wasatch Front. They had to cancel the fire because it would have looked bad to have plumes of smoke showing on the same day he wanted to tout our clean air.
We begged and pleaded with the state for the last 15 years to help with phrag, but they were not interested (mostly because our wetlands don't have any extractive minerals on them). By law, they have a public trust obligation to protect and maintain our state-owned public lands...but our locally elected legislators have no appetite for actually doing it. Sad, very sad.
R
 

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Rjefre what are the emails/contact info so we can start applying our opinions and pressure on the issue. If each of us and others we know can continue to apply pressure they might begin taking notice.
 

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As for getting a permit to burn without getting a fire crew put together--
Apparently private lands (like duck clubs) can burn. The WMA's have not been able to...maybe because they can't subdivide the units into small parcels to be under the limit. I'm just not sure about that. The end result is no burns in the WMA's for the last 5 years or so. The one time that the atmospheric conditions were perfect and they were able to get a fire crew, was the same day Gov Herbert was giving a speech about air quality in the Wasatch Front. They had to cancel the fire because it would have looked bad to have plumes of smoke showing on the same day he wanted to tout our clean air.
We begged and pleaded with the state for the last 15 years to help with phrag, but they were not interested (mostly because our wetlands don't have any extractive minerals on them). By law, they have a public trust obligation to protect and maintain our state-owned public lands...but our locally elected legislators have no appetite for actually doing it. Sad, very sad.
R
Could the DWR put together a "volunteer fire crew" and do their own burn if one of the crew had a degree in say um Forestry or Forest Management?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gentleman,

So I emailed a group of reps and commissioners yesterday and I got a response back from Timoth Hawkes. He is the Rep for District 18. Here is what he said. I am trying to formulate my email back to him.

Thanks for reaching out and for your interest in this important issue. My sense is that we're already doing a lot to control phragmites and those efforts are increasing. In other words, it's not fair to characterize the issue as "on the back burner." If I'm not mistaken, in FY2014 we appropriated significant money for phragmites control, and again in FY2015, where we devoted both one-time and ongoing (year-over-year) dollars to the program. You can get a sense of the scope and scale of the State's efforts by viewing the following presentation: http://arcg.is/1HioDet. That's no small effort.


Bottom line: we share your concerns about phragmites, and are doing what we can to address this difficult problem. Expect those efforts to continue.

Best regards,

Tim Hawkes

 

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Gentleman,

So I emailed a group of reps and commissioners yesterday and I got a response back from Timoth Hawkes. He is the Rep for District 18. Here is what he said. I am trying to formulate my email back to him.

Thanks for reaching out and for your interest in this important issue. My sense is that we're already doing a lot to control phragmites and those efforts are increasing. In other words, it's not fair to characterize the issue as "on the back burner." If I'm not mistaken, in FY2014 we appropriated significant money for phragmites control, and again in FY2015, where we devoted both one-time and ongoing (year-over-year) dollars to the program. You can get a sense of the scope and scale of the State's efforts by viewing the following presentation: http://arcg.is/1HioDet. That's no small effort.


Bottom line: we share your concerns about phragmites, and are doing what we can to address this difficult problem. Expect those efforts to continue.

Best regards,

Tim Hawkes

If you study the website, it repeatedly calls for burns yet no burns have taken place according to the website...interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okay so here is what I wrote.

Timothy,


Thank you for your quick and thoughtful response. I do know that the state has approved money for fighting this invasive weed but I feel that it is falling short with the amount of damage it is causing. After digging further into this issue, Pharg has spread to Utah Lake, Cache Valley and to the Bear Lake Region. This is of horrible news and needs to quickly dealt with accordingly.

I know that the state is working hard to fight the weed. Means like grazing cows at Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area with help and dedication from local ranchers to help control the problem, this has been a win but is also not a long term solution. I also know the state has purchased a type of trax bull hog mower to help with the spread but I feel it is not enough as it is limited to manpower and also the size of the mower. In short, we need to allow more treating and burning to eradicate the invasive weed. This will allow the nutrients to generate back into the soils to help the native ecosystem again get a foot hold on growing and providing a natural balance for the GSL.


Private lands are able to burn with great success to help control the Phrag on their lands. But with the winds blowing seeds back onto there property from state lands they are in a world of hurt to fighting the problem.

NOT allowing the state to burn this weed is loosing the battle that we cannot afford to loose not only for wildlife but also for the State as tourism dollars. Something needs to be done to allow burn permits and to speed up the process for when there are adequate burn conditions. I again beg of you to help with this process.




Thank you again for your time.
 

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Nice letter! I would like to call attention to the fact that last year the legislature was going to remove a big chunk of phragmites funding from the budget. It had already been voted on and was about to be lost, when Friends of Great Salt Lake worked with a few powerful interests and got the funding put back in the budget at the very last minute.
It is true that the state is doing more now than they ever did before, but it is still very little. For the last 15 years (up until the last 6-7 years) they came right out and said it was of no importance. Luckily, there are some new people working their way up the ranks and hopefully they can talk sense into our silly elected legislators. Tim Hawkes and a bunch of other legislators (like the Natural Resources Committee) would do well to take a boat ride out to the GSL wetlands and see the mass destruction they have wrought upon us due to their lack of concern over the years.
R
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So today at lunch on ksl news radio was speak to the governor. So I called in and spoke to the lady from ksl and told her my question. A few minutes later she came back on and said that she wanted to get my name and number and that someone from the gov office would like to call and talk with me. So I left my info and I cannot wait for the call.

Rj, If i do hear back from some of the commissions or reps from davis and weber can we schedule some boat time for them to see the issue first hand?

If so I would love to offer it for them to see the large scope of the issue. What about the news media by chance?

Thanks

Tallbuck
 
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