Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 14, 2012
Juniper removal serves ranchers

This letter is in response to the article in the Transcript-Bulletin on Jan. 31 titled “Juniper removal project leads to off-road route designations near Stockton.” These juniper removal projects are supposed to be for fire control and wildlife. I believe they are really for making public land more appealing to cattle producers. This allows BLM to lease more grazing rights and justify its existence. The BLM always portrays the pinyon-juniper forests of Utah to be a recent scourge on this area. This is just not true. The archaeological record shows that the juniper has been native to this area for thousands of years. One of the charms of this area are the large pinyon-juniper forests on public land that flank the mountains. These areas offer shelter for camping, recreation and provide pine nuts in the fall. The article says we will still have OHV trails through the area. What fun will it be to ride through a denuded landscape with no trees or places to camp? I for one will miss these pinyonjuniper forests. The most annoying part of these projects is that they never say that the real purpose is to graze more cows on public land at the expense of the taxpayer.

Michael Enright


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