Utah Wilderness Association
Craig Zwick Utah Department ot Transporrotlon
4501 S. 2700 W.
Sal t Lake City, Utah 84119
Dear Mr. Zwick,
We have long been concerned about the future development UDOT plans for the widening of Hwy. 89 in Logan Canyon. And while it seems that few if any of our comments have ever been taken into consideration in the past we cannor be remiss in continuing to tell you that the degradation of the natural beauty in Logan Canyon is unacceptable. We offer the following points that we feel can be accommodated by the construction work while preserving the integrity of the canyon that means so much to so many folks findlng beauty ands solace in its verdant summer magic, its wonderful trails, its winter austerity and its scenic uniqueness recommended nearly 15 years ago by a district ranger and Logan users.
Under the current plan or development. wildlife habitat and fisheries will suffer. Cut and fill will adversely affect water quality, fisheries and ungulate canyon migratlon patterns. Nearly 100 acres of deer and moose winter range would be destroyed. This seems so contradictory given the work on habitat protects by others in the valley who are trying to rehabilitate deer and elk winter range. Just as DOT destroys it.
A site where material cut from the roadsides will be deposited has as yet not be identified. This is just one area where NEPA was skirted in order to obtain approval of the EIS. Stating mitigation will occur does not guarantee It. There is too long a history of the agency building then abandoning a project except for snow removal and line painting. Neither of those activities provide for damage guaranteed to impact wildlife and fish for the coming years. The wildlife portion of the EIS is woefully inadequate. And the bottom line is that increased funding and provision of more routes for Utah Hignway Patrolmen in the canyon could really solve the speeding problems and eliminate driver error that has been blamed for a need in canyon road widening. Build it "faster" and thus they will drive!
Specifically, beaver and trout will suffer following constructlon at the retaining walls. It is estimated that fish populations would be reduced up to 70% when riparian begetation is removed in the two miles of that damage protected by the EIS. Rip-rap cannot provide the ecological substitute that live plants and soils and cover can for healthy fish populations. this is part of of the nearly 20 acres of wetlands and riparian habitat that would be collectively destroyed. And in a time when humans are supposedly aware of these losses and trying to act upon past errors, such damage is callous and inconceivable.
Of course, these issues just touch the surface. These are the recognized impacts. Beyond the problems with the process in general, the casual disregard of public input by so many who have contributed sincerely to this effort in order to offer a reasonable, conservationists' alternative which the utah Wilderness Association wholeheartedly supports. UDOT must go back to the drawing board and try to make this a project that the concensus of users will find legitimate. It is too important to sluff off as angry residents, disgruntled wildlife supporters and obstructionist politics. There is only one Logan Canyon. And we want preserve the beauty, the wildness and the essence of its grandeur for all who enjoy it. No one comes to see a road fill or a great retaining wall. It is the water, the trees, the wildlife, the autumn leaves at slow speed that make Logan Canyon a gem of Utah.
The EIS misses the mark. Yet again we urge you to take these comments- and the incredible number you received that express similar position to such major altering of the canyon- into serious consideration.
Please keep us on the maIling list to -receIve all related documents on the Logan Canyon project.
April 27. 1993
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.