Regulars and Shorts

Enviro Update: February 2007

By Amy Brunvand

Environmental news from around the state and the west.
Utah environment getting cleaner, says DEQ

The Utah Division of Environmental Quality has released a new report that says that the state is doing a better job than in the past of meeting clean air, clean water and toxic release standards. The report also details the current environmental problem of toxic mercury from coal-fired power plant emissions and other sources.

Utah’s Report on the Environment, 2006:

Wasatch Wilderness discussion, Feb. 20

“Wasatch Wilderness” is the topic of this year’s first Wasatch Front Forum sponsored by Save Our Canyons and Westminster College. The panel discussion includes Gale Dick (Save Our Canyons), Steve Scheid (U.S. Forest Service), Jeff Nelling (Salt Lake Public Utilities) and Rusty Dassing (Wasatch Powderbird Guides).

Wasatch Front Forum: February 20, 7 p.m. in the Gore Auditorium, Westminster College (or listen to a live broadcast of the event on KCPW).

Colorado River Symposium, March 2-3

Is the 1922 Colorado River Compact adaptable enough to cope with urbanization, population growth, changing water demands and environmental impacts in the New West? Or do we need to change the way we manage Western water? These complex and politically charged questions are the theme of the 12th Annual Stegner Center Symposium. The Colorado River Compact in the 21st Century: Time for Change? March 2-3.  Advance registration by Februray 16 is $110 ($90 for seniors, $75 for students)

Information: Tel. 585-3440,

Utah Backcountry Volunteers service trips scheduled

Is your idea of fun a week of hard work in the hot sun? If so, you might like to spend your vacation building trails, removing nonnative tamarisk, protecting archaeological sites or controling off-road vehicle damage in some of the most scenic places in Utah. Utah Backcountry Volunteers is a new nonprofit organization that leads service trips on Utah’s public lands. Trips are open to participants 18 and over (with health insurance and in good physical condition) and cost $175, which includes food for the week.

Utah Backcountry Volunteers: phone (435) 785-8955, email

2007 Service Trip Schedule:

April 15-21, Price BLM, San Rafael Swell, Sid’s Mountain, trail work

April 29-May 5, Glen Canyon NRA, Lower Escalante River, Russian olive removal

May 13-19, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Upper Escalante River, Russian olive and tamarisk removal

June 10-16, Manti-LaSal NF, Ferron, 12 Mile Canyon Twin Lakes, ORV damage control

June 24-30, Manti-LaSal NF, Moab/Monticello, trail work and campsite inventory

September 9-15, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Paria River, ORV damage control

September 23-29, Monticello BLM, Beef Basin, archaeological site protection

October 14-20, Capitol Reef NP, Trail and nonnative vegetation removal

Edward O. Wilson to speak at U. February 28

Edward O. Wilson, the famous mymecologist (“guy who studies ants”), Pulitzer-prize winning author, and one of the most eloquent and important environmental voices in the world today is scheduled as keynote speaker for “The Nature of Things” lecture series sponsored by the Utah Museum of Natural History. Wilson’s book, “The Future of Life,” is a love letter to the Earth explaining why biodiversity matters and what we can do to promote responsible environmental stewardship of our planet. Most recently, he wrote “The Creation: an Appeal to Save Life on Earth” in which he seeks common ground between scientific and religious motivations for environmental conservation.

Nature of Things lecture series: www.umnh.utah.edumuseum/PublicPrograms/adultLecturesAndPresentations.html
Edward O. Wilson. February 28. 7 p.m. Kingsbury Hall, U. of U.

This article was originally published on January 31, 2007.