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USFS will allow motorized access on trail


Nuck Woodward1

By Rick Sherman
Sun Advocate Reporter

Manti-La Sal National Forest officials have decided to scrap plans for a seasonal restriction on the Nuck Woodward Road.
According to a letter received by local elected officials following a meeting with Forest Service administrative officers Tuesday, the Ferron District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest has withdrawn its proposal to close a 5-mile segment of the road to motorized vehicle use.
The letter said a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding developed around the proposal and as emotions escalated, the district decided to withdraw its proposed seasonal restriction until a time when a robust public process can take place before a decision is made.
Ferron/Price District Ranger Darren Olsen previously noted that many visitors have expressed a desire to have a quiet place to hunt or hike. He said two weeks ago that the Forest Service is a multiple-use agency and was trying to provide multiple opportunities for visitors.
The letter said the greatest management problems the “Forest” must resolve are the conflicts between various uses of the forest. Often the preferred use of the forest by one group is incompatible with the preferred use of another group. This is one of those cases.
The Carbon County Commission is on record as opposing the proposed restriction. Commissioner Casey Hopes said, “Carbon County has put a lot of money into the road and we need to have it open for recreational purposes.” But he added, “We shouldn’t make the issue personal. It should be about issues– not about people. We should be respectful of their opinions and feelings.”
Wellington Mayor Joan Powell, who has been a strong vocal critic of the proposed seasonal restriction, expressed thanks to everyone who got involved. She said, “There was a lot of effort on the public’s part and I think we got our message across.”
The final message of the letter is, The Forest Service will continue its efforts to resolve conflicts among recreation users, with the intention of providing an enjoyable outdoor experience for those who come to the Manti-La Sal National Forest.

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