Employees of the Ashley National Forest (the Ashley) are working on a forest plan revision, and as part of that process they’ve been inventorying and evaluating areas for potential addition to the national wilderness preservation system.
Ever since I was a child I’ve felt passionate about wild places, and I get involved in efforts to protect them whenever I can. So when the Ashley recently invited people to comment on their current process I took that opportunity.
I commented about the process in general, and about specific areas in the Uinta Mountains – and I also commented about areas in the southern part of the Ashley (the South Ashley), which includes places like Indian Canyon, Anthro Mountain, and the Avintaquin area.
People don’t seem to know, or care, as much about the South Ashley as they do the Uintas. While the Uintas certainly are amazing, I think the South Ashley also has its own merits and also deserves protection.
In evaluating areas on the forest for wilderness characteristics one of the things the Ashley’s team looked for was “outstanding landscape features.” They concluded that several of the areas they evaluated, including the South Ashley’s Wire Fence area, don’t have any outstanding landscape features.
I traveled to the Wire Fence area a few years ago while looking at places that would’ve been impacted by a plan the Ashley had at the time to develop several hundred new oil wells (shortly before the crash in the oil market took away the incentive for that). While there I came across a feature I thought was pretty outstanding.
This past January I traveled back to the area and skied to the location of the feature. I’ll let you, dear reader, look at the photographs I took and see if you think it’s outstanding. I hope you do.