NEW COMMUNITY POND • The project to dredge Jenkins Flat Pond is complete, and the Forest Service says they have stocked it with fish and it will be a great place for recreating. However, until the coronavirus crisis has slowed down, lets not all of us rush up there to go fishing right now. Stay home as instructed if you can, practice social distancing if you need to go out, and stay safe.
By Myrna Trauntvein
The Jenkins Flat pond dredging project is complete and DWR (Division of Wildlife Resources) has already planted some fish in the pond.
Juab County Commissioners also had some further requests for the Forest Service.
Luke Decker, District Ranger for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, District Four, met with Juab County Commissioners on Monday, and brought with him the Jenkins Flat agreement for signatures.
“It was a successful project,” said Decker. “More can be dredged if we get more money from the Army Corp of Engineers.”
The agreement will now allow the forest service to transfer their monetary participation in the project.
“It is a nice addition to recreation for the area,” said Richard Hansen, commissioner.
Clinton Painter, commission chairman, said he had visited Jenkins Flat the day before, while the weather was good, and had been impressed with the work that had been done there.
Lynn Ingram, county road department superintendent, said that he also had a substantial completion agreement with Brown Brothers Construction since they had completed most of the work at Jenkins Flat in dredging the pond and moving the earth to a site south of the pond.
“It has been a great project,” said Byron Woodland, commissioner.
“They certainly knew what they were doing,” said Hansen. “Is there any concern that when high water comes the pond will not go over the bank?”
There should not be a problem with that, said Ingram.
Ingram was present during the week when DWR planted 250 fish, some browns, in the pond. DWR also planted 250 fish in the Power Plant Pond.
He said that, as part of the pond project, they had placed some brush in the bottom of the pond which would be good fish habitat.
He said the water had been cold at about 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the fish had reacted to the cold which had been interesting to watch. They soon adapted.
“Some of the smoothing work on the far south end of the project remains and will be done by Brown Bros. this summer,” said Ingram. “If we put heavy equipment on it now, as muddy as it is, we may never find it again.”
He said that they were now working on getting seed to put out where the soil was leveled around the pond.
The 4-H was working on getting Title II funding to put in new asphalt in the parking area, stripe the parking area, put up signage and place a few picnic tables.
“We will have that on our radar,” said Decker.
COVID-19 had prevented the forest service from opening the gates leading to Bear Canyon which are locked in the winter and unlocked in the spring.
He said they were evaluating what should be open and what should be kept closed until the pandemic crisis was over.
Hansen said he had walked the road from the gate closure toward Bear Canyon and had found there was still approximately 2-inches of snow on the road at the second turn in the road. At the Shaw/Winters cabins, there was still lots of snow.
Therefore, it was a good idea not to open the road at present.
“We were told that the project of trying to get water into Bear Canyon had been funded,” said Woodland. “What has happened to that project?”
The engineers office has a directive to close water systems, said Decker.
“The current plan is to put a spigot there,” he said.
Woodland said that the Forest Service was on a countdown to turn over their property on Nephi’s Main Street to the county for use by the county fire district.
“You will be in violation of federal law if that is not done in the next two weeks,” said Woodland. “We are about two weeks away from the date set by the federal government. You were given one year to comply.”
He said that Congress, the Senate and the U.S. President had all signed off on the transfer and a date for the transfer to be complete had also been set.
“I will check with our lands office and see what is happening,” said Decker. “It is a small office.”
Woodland said that the building, which once served as a local forest service office, was an excellent place for the fire district of the county. The county fire crews were the first responders for the forest service.
Hansen said that the commission would also appreciate receiving regular updates from Decker and said that he had ideas about the area around the gate at the Salt Creek turnaround. He also was thinking that the Salt Creek overlook area could be improved.
“Let us know when you open the lower gate [to the scenic byway] because we clean up the road so that it is safe for travel,” said Ingram.
He also said that the county road crew had done some work to make improvements so that the snowmobile season could be extended.