The High Uintas need help

  Salt Lake City environmentalist Dick Carter is at it again, this time founding a new nonprofit, the High Uintas Preservation Council. After the Utah Wilderness Association - the group that tried to forge a compromise in the state's wilderness debate - closed shop last spring, Carter took a few months off to hike. But the vacation didn't last long before he decided a new citizens' group was needed to protect the Uinta mountains in northeast Utah. "I'm probably too old and too out-of-step to do it again," Carter says, "but I'm going to try." The High Uinta region near the Wyoming border is little-known compared to southern Utah's canyon country, but it has become Salt Lake City's weekend playground. Encompassing the largest designated wilderness in Utah and several adjacent national forests, the area is an important ecological link between the northern and southern Rockies, says Carter. These days it's threatened by the encroaching pressures of timber havesting, oil and gas drilling, grazing and increasing recreational use. Carter says one of his first projects is opposing the Forest Service's introduction of non-native mountain goats to the Uintas. "We all love mountain goats," he says, "but they no more belong in Utah than camels do." So far, the council consists of Carter and six board members, including UWA co-founder Margaret Pettis. For more information contact Dick Carter, P.O. Box 72, Hyrum, Utah 84319 (801/245-6747).

* Katie Fesus

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