by Bill Boyle
The National Weather Service has released a 90-day weather forecast for temperatures and precipitation in the area.
The estimate is that precipitation in May, June and July will be significantly above normal. The pattern has been dry in the past six months, with another dry winter that did not replenish water supplies.
May, June and July are generally the driest three months of the year, so it doesn’t take much to be wetter than normal. However, they are also the three months that most severely test our water supplies.
If we can get through the next three months without taxing our water supplies and then have a good monsoon season, area communities may be able to avoid the pains of significant watering restrictions this summer.
Let’s hope that the weather forecasters are right!
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I recently went to Arch Canyon and enjoyed driving on a new jeep trail at the mouth of the canyon.
Arch Canyon occasionally has been one of the local focal points in the public lands debate, with groups on one side wanting to enjoy the spectacular scenery and groups on the other stating that the canyon was damaged by the visitors.
San Juan County worked with the BLM to cut a new trail. It avoids a previous route which sent vehicles through an area that was often flooded and impassable.
From one perspective, the project represents a win/win for all sides in the battle over access to the canyon.
There is a significant improvement to the road. It will help increase acccess to the spectacular area while decreasing damage to the fragile mouth of the canyon.
However, some local officials are concerned about the project. The BLM allowed county crews to complete the work, but they have yet to extend Title V rights on the new roadway.
The county has RS-2477 rights on the old roadway but no claim, yet, on the new route. There is a concern that the BLM could close access to the canyon by simply closing the new route.
In this time of mistrust between local and federal government, I hope that the Arch Canyon project will represent a solution to the challenges rather than another problem.
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I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between Arch Canyon and the new Cars Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park.
The park is supposed to be all about California, but the planners took a close look at southern Utah while designing the newest portion of the park. I swear that they included Arch Canyon, Comb Ridge and Bluff in the design.
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Not just Joe
We have received a number of comments about our new column, “Is it just me?” by Joe B. Lyman.
We are delighted that Joe has agreed to provide periodic articles for his column.
He has contributed letters to the Editor and other articles over the years and we felt that it was time to create a formal column.
Hope you enjoy.