Agencies schedule volunteer work day for projects in Nine Mile Canyon area
The United States Bureau of Land Management, Utah institutional trust administration and Nine Mile executive committee will give local residents a chance not only to see the changes in the canyon, but to assist with the projects on Sept. 18.
The agencies and others have scheduled a volunteer work day for that date to help with projects around Daddy Canyon as well as near the Great Hunt Panel in Cottonwood Canyon.
"We would like to welcome everyone to come out and help us on these projects," said Wayne Ludington of the BLM at a meeting of the Nine Mile committee last Thursday. "We want church groups, students, families and any other volunteers to come help us. We ask that people bring their own tools and make sure they are marked so they don't lose them."
Those who show up will be performing various tasks, like spreading gravel on trails around Daddy Canyon to putting in concrete for footings near the Great Hunt Panel for a visitors area. The total length of the trail will be about two-thirds of a mile.
Planners of the event indicate that there will be a check in area at Cottonwood Glen on Saturday morning and that afternoon a late lunch will be served for participants in the afternoon.
The committee also had a discussion about a meeting some of the members had on Aug. 19 with a representative from the National Trust for Historic Land Preservation which named Nine Mile Canyon as one of the top 11 endangered sites in the United States last May.
"They told us they could help us with a lot of things," said Kathy Smith who is on the committee. "We asked if they could help us to reverse a lot of negative publicity we have received about the canyon and they told us they could. They also have money available to help with some things. Judging by what was said I think they see the road through the canyon as being the biggest issue. They also said that they have nothing to do with regulation, but only designation of endangered areas."
The NTHP has named more than 160 places the group feels are losing character or are in danger of being destroyed in the last decade.
Most of the sites have eventually been removed from their list because of efforts by individuals and groups to change the status.
Many of the sites are buildings. When a group rehabilitates the structure, it comes off the list.
Nine Mile Canyon appears to be an usual listing for the NTHP.
"The good part is that they have a powerful lobby and we can ask them to help us with various problems," said Pam Miller of the CEU Prehistoric Museum. "And they told us if they couldn't help us they could point us in the direction in which we can get help. I think we have the chance here to move this out of the local and into the national arena. This could give our local offices support to do things they want to do. We need to do a lot of things from here and they will help, but we're still the drivers and the labor on these issues."
Nine Mile contains many historic sites, including petroglyphs, stagecoach stations, settlers cabins, ranches and iron telegraph poles installed by the 19th century Buffalo Soldiers.
The application to be placed on the list was apparently submitted by a landowner in the canyon.
"When I asked about what got us on the list they were very evasive about it," said Jim Huffaker, a representative from the College of Eastern Utah on the committee."But for the first time since I don't know when, these circumstances have us all working together."
The NTHP has considerable political clout and putting Nine Mile on the list has brought the issues involving the canyon into the national spotlight. It was determined by the committee that Steve Tanner, co-chair, should stay in touch with the NTLP on a regular basis.