A number of land owners have received notices from the Forest Service stating that the USFS is not responsible for the intrusion of permitted livestock on private land.
The challenge is that San Juan County is a “fenced-in” county, which requires land owners to keep their livestock fenced in. Norman Johnson said that if public citizens are required to comply with county policy, so should the USFS.
The policy is based on a Supreme Court case. Johnson asked, “Where are private citizens as it relates to property bordering Forest Service property?”
Commissioners said that they will look into the issue.
In other matters at the May 16 meeting, Monticello resident Monte Wells complained about a US Forest Service ranger who was directing traffic after a truck turnover accident in Monticello on May 13. Wells said that the Forest Service officer was acting like a policeman, but he has no authority.
“It is outside the scope of his duty,” said Wells. “This sends the wrong message when he is standing out there acting like he has authority”
Commission Bruce Adams said the officer was probably just trying to be helpful.
Wells replied, “He was just trying to be helpful, but I don’t think it is lawful.”
• discussed a $59,399 Social Services Block grant from the state of Utah. The grant will be split between aging programs operated by San Juan County and programs operated by San Juan Counseling.
• approved out-of-state travel for Norman Johnson to attend a national convention in Portland, OR. Johnson is treasurer of the National Association of Clerks, Recorders and Election Officials.
• approved a consulting contract with Lynn Stevens to serve as a liaison between San Juan County and the state and federal public land agencies. Stevens, who left the commission in January, continues to work on the creation of a San Juan County Land Bill that may be presented to Congress as early as this fall.
• Stevens asked the Commission for a letter of support for a proposal to construct a Trail of the Ancients Tribal Interpretive Center in Bluff, just west of the Twin Rocks Trading Post. The Hole in the Rock Foundation is seeking a National Scenic Byways Grant to fund the project.
• Stevens also reported that the Glen Canyon Recreation Area Master Plan for Motorized Access in the Park does not include San Juan County. Stevens said that the Park Service has created a recreation permitting plan for public use of the Hole in the Rock Trail in Garfield and Kane counties. However, he said it is back to “Square One” for a master plan for motorized use in San Juan County.
• approved a $11,480 bid for Redd Mechanical to install air conditioning in a portion of the Public Safety Building in Monticello. The area is used as classrooms for the Utah State University courses that are offered for inmates at the Public Safety Building.
County maintenance director Monte Perkins reports that up to 20 people use the classrooms, increasing the need for air conditioning in the classroom.
• approved a $1,518 bid for San Juan Building Supply to provide new windows at the county annex in Blanding. County employees will install the new windows.
• approved out-of-state travel for county tourism director Charlie DeLorme to meet with Japanese Tourism and Delta Airlines officials in Los Angeles. Delta is scheduled to relaunch direct air service between Salt Lake City and Japan on June 2. The meetings will include strategizing how to increase visitation to the area by Japanese tourists.
DeLorme told Commissioners that most travel requests are cleared in advance by the county travel board. However, since this request is on short notice, he simply visited with the board chair about the trip to LA.
• DeLorme reports that Utah Governor Gary Herbert is set to sign bills regarding Fast Track grants and Business Expansion and Retention programs. Both bills are designed to aid in economic development efforts in rural areas.
• DeLorme also said that the annual Native American Summit, hosted by Governor Herbert, is August 30-31 at University Park Marriott in Salt Lake City.