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County Council Hears Report About Challenges On The Weber River

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Summit County
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The Weber River is a great resource for recreationists. But the Summit County Council heard Wednesday about an area of the river, from Henefer into Morgan County, that’s in danger of being loved to death.

Summit Council Members on Wednesday were visited by stakeholders from the Morgan County Council, State Parks and professional outfitters. Council Member Chris Robinson said they heard that a section of the river, from Henefer to Taggart in Morgan County, is getting overcrowded and is plagued by rowdy, unregulated behavior.

“It’s the tragedy of straddling two counties and kind of disjointed ownership and control, but we need to get it under control,” Robinson said. “I mean it sounds like it's a real hazard both to humans and the environment the way it’s taking place now. We're going to focus on it jointly with Morgan County and with the state parks and others to reign it in.”

He said unfortunately, Morgan County, at the western end of the Henefer-Taggart Reach, is feeling the impacts.

“Garbage in, garbage out,” Robinson explained. “If we allow the garbage in at the front end, which we control in Summit County, then the garbage is in the system. Once it gets in, it's got to come out. They complain that people come with improper flotation devices, floating styrofoam coolers, single use beverage dispensers mostly alcoholic, flip flops and things. They put in in Summit County, there's no regulation you know we're not there. No rules, they can do whatever they want. Then once they get in the river, they realize that it’s maybe a little more challenging. They lose a lot of their personal things so they just chuck them and then they get out in Morgan county. All of this detritus winds up floating down the river and then there's you know a lot of intoxication.”

Robinson said they don’t have much time to take action this year—with summer only weeks away.

“The bigger picture is we need a resource management plan and that's not going to happen in a month. I mean the season is upon us, right? I mean from here on out it's going to be used for the next five months.”

On another topic, about planning the outdoors, we asked Robinson briefly about the work of the Central Wasatch Commission.

The County Council was visited by staffers representing Senator Mitt Romney. Robinson said the Senator is likely to be a supporter for a planned National Resource and Conservation Area designation on the Wasatch Range.

“The legislation has some challenges right now and so it's not right but when it becomes so I think he'll be a strong ally,” Robinson continued. “He cosponsored the other large federal lands package that passed the Congress and has been signed into law. That included the Emery County public lands management act which was a huge deal create a lot of wilderness and the San Rafael national recreation area. I would suspect he would be a good ally. Senator Lee on the other hand voted against that previous package and he's not as friendly, but I think Senator Romney will be.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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