96 South Main Street, PO Box 77, Nephi, Utah 84648 - Voice: 435 623-0525 - FAX: 435 623-4735
On our front page this week
By Myrna Trauntvein
There is a pond, located on the right side of the road leading to the Mt. Nebo Scenic Byway, that was a popular fishing spot for local residents in Juab County.
The Salt Creek road is a turn-off from SR 132 leading from Nephi to Fountain Green in Sanpete County.
Riley Worwood and Seth McPherson, Nephi Chapter, Sportsman for Fish & Wildlife (SFW), presented a proposal to clean up the pond to the Juab County Commissioners on Monday.
“We would like to present a proposal to rehabilitate the pond,” said McPherson. “I think that 2007 was the last it was dug out.”
The pond has filled with gravel and silt and needs to be rehabilitated.
He said that every year the Nephi Chapter of the SFW holds a fund-raising banquet. Worwood and McPherson had talked to Drew Kay about using some of the funding to help the local area sportsmen.
The SFW is a non-profit group of 7,000 members spread throughout all 50 states.
SFW members have raised millions of dollars and volunteered tens of thousands of hours and equipment that is having very real affects on the ground. In Utah, Idaho and Wyoming more than 1 million acres of public land has already been rehabilitated with SFW funds and influence.
The local chapter could try to get the organization to put in approximately $50,000 to help with the project.
“You have put a smile on my face,” said Clint Painter, commission chairman.
He said that he enjoyed the fishing spot when he was a kid growing up in the area and would be happy to see the work done.
The pond was built as a catch basin to prevent flooding, said Lynn Ingram, county road department superintendent.
“We have cleaned it out two times,” said Ingram. “Fire debris and silt (from a large forest fire a few years ago) have come down into the pond.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers designed the pond in the 1980s, he said, and they had some restrictions.
The project of dredging the pond would require the county renting some equipment. The county does not own equipment large enough to reach the depths needed.
“It would probably be best to contract it out,” said Rick Carlton, commissioner. “I think we should plan now for next year.”
Worwood said that he and McPherson did not know what the cost might be but had an idea it would be quite a bit.
Carlton said that George Garcia, Forest Service District Ranger, was excellent to work with and may have some funds that could also be used.
Ingram said it was a better situation to do the rehabilitation work in the winter.
He said that the county would also need to find money to help with the clean-up. It may be that the Forest Service would have some funds to help or it may be that RAC (Secure Rural Schools Resource Act Advisory Committee funds) could be used for the project.
“I will work to see what we can do about funding,” said Byron Woodland, commissioner. “I will also talk to DWR (Department of Wildlife Services) about restocking the pond.”
There are some hoops that have to be jumped through when working with the forest service. Likely their engineers will need to review the project.
The project will also need to address what should be done with the soils once removed from the water. Will the soil need to be hauled off or can it be left in place?
“I will talk to Garcia today,” said Ingram.
“This will be a good project,” said Carlton.
McPherson said that the fishing spot was an excellent place to take the family to fish. It was a safer place than others located along the highway.
“In my younger years,” said Painter, “I spent hours there.”
“This project will be completed,” said Carlton. “Don’t wait. Start your process now.”
He said the commission and Ingram would also start working toward the completion and that next year, the pond project would go forward.
There might be a possibility that the Dedicated Hunter Program that began in 1995 might be willing to help with the project, said McPherson.