Southern Utah: Site creation process

For discussion of any issues surrounding hang gliding and paragliding sites.
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Dan_g
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Location: San Diego, CA

Southern Utah: Site creation process

Post by Dan_g »

I received this message, addressed to a bunch of local pilots. Thought I'd post it here for reference and comment: --Dan
------------------------------------------------------------
This is Steve Rathbun. Lisa V, Val Stevens and I have been working on a new hang and para site located near Cedar City. It is a guided H2 P2 site and it has a huge flat LZ. 2200' vert. We think it has great potential for XC flying. (West Desert flatland flying like Frisco but without the dangerous launch). It will require a lot of trees to be cleared. We thought it best to get permission from the BLM first. We prepared and submitted this proposal to the BLM. You can click on this link and download a powerpoint presentation that shows the site. Check it out.
http://www.xmission.com/~srathbun/Silve ... 20Oct3.ppt

The BLM officials seem to be receptive to the idea. We are currently negotiating the specifics of site management with them. We are trying to keep it as simple and easy as possible. If they give us the OK, we are going to need volunteers to help in the clearing operation. As an alternate to saws, we may take some donations and hire a local contractor with a track hoe.

This is not a secret or anything. Tell anyone you think may be interested. Input appreciated. Just let us keep the negotiations with the BLM coming from Lisa and me.

Cheers,


Steve Rathbun
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Len Clements
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

New Utah HG Site

Post by Len Clements »

Great Power Point presentation!

This looks awesome!

I'm from Arizona and I'm a big fan of Frisco Peak.

I've flown there every June for the past five or six years and have dragged a few other, Arizona HG pilots up there, too.

You guys consider Frisco a dangerous launch? Aside from the obvious hazards of a 9600 MSL launch in peak conditions the only problem I've noticed there is strong ramp suck in winds over about 15 MPH. For that reason, about 15 MPH is my limit, on Frisco.
Am I missing something?

Having said that, it's always nice to have an alternative. It looks like you've done your homework. Nice job!

I'd be willing to make a construction cost donation....
mark arnold
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Post by mark arnold »

Re: Silver launch, Steve, Lisa, Nice Power Point. What is the status with the BLM? mark Arnold in Minneapolis
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Dan_g
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Post by Dan_g »

mark arnold wrote:Re: Silver launch, Steve, Lisa, Nice Power Point. What is the status with the BLM? mark Arnold in Minneapolis
I haven't heard anything from them yet... I'm be sure the word gets out when they tell us something. I'm excited for it!

---Dan
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Groundhog
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Location: Southern California

California Visitors to Southern Utah

Post by Groundhog »

All:

We have 26 pilots who would like to use Silver Launch on May 26, 2007, if it is available.
The Los Angeles-based Sylmar HGA has been running HG/PG trips to the Cedar City area annually for the last 7 years. I wrote the following regarding last year's trip:

Seventh Annual Winds of a Hurricane Fly-in a Success! The record-sized group of 26 hang gliding and 9 paragliding pilots plus families, friends and dogs took over the Red Ledge Campground in Kanarraville Utah [5 miles S of Cedar City] for the 4th of July weekend. Most pilots made a 6 hour drive from Southern California, but pilots came from as far away as Detroit and Colombia. The fly-in successfully targeting the XC wanna-be crowd, and many logged their first cross-country flights under Hungary Joe's guidance, got flights of up to 40 miles and went over 15K. Nobody got hurt, and everyone went home smiling. Flying was divided between the Hurricane Ridge and Cedar Mountain. Flights over the back of the Ridge ending in the Virgin River LZ and in Colorado City Arizona. XC from Cedar keep pilots on their toes from the late afternoon over development with switchy winds and cloud suck, which resulted in a lot of scrape aluminum and scary stories! Watch for the 8th Annual Winds of a Hurricane on Cedar Mountain in 2007!

Every year we have made a point of introducing ourselves to the Mayor of Hurricane, who has warmly received us. We recently have gravitated to the Cedar area due to its better X-C potential, under the direction of Hungary Joe Szalai. He flew a group off Graff Point last year after receiving permission from the property owner, who with his extended family watched our launches. The owner wants respect for his property and is hospitable when approached properly through Hungary Joe.

We plan on coming to South Utah on Memorial Day weekend (Saturday May 26, 2007), as the forth of July is midweek this year. We would love to support the new site at Silver Launch, but won't be able to build the road to it, as we live too far away. I suspect that we could help with launch development before flying (especially if dry camping on site was possible) and would certainly pay site fees, when we arrive.

Please help us help you develop the site!

Grant
Attachments
Hurricane Briefing 2006 v2.doc
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Dan_g
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Post by Dan_g »

Steve gave a brief status update last week at our club meeting. Basically, the process is stalled until we can get permission to cut down a few trees. Apparently Steve knows some people in the BLM that have done this sort of thing before...

Basically, we'll post stuff when there's something to post! Thanks for your interest.

Steve may respond himself to your request... i'm just repeating what I hear.
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Steve Rathbun
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Location: Salt Lake City

Silver Launch Update

Post by Steve Rathbun »

Hi, Steve Rathbun here.


First, I want to thank everyone for their interest and offers of support for the project. We were excited about clearing and flying the site this spring but everything is on hold indefinitely.

It seems the most difficult part of this development process is bureaucratic. We were naively hoping that the BLM would give us permission to clear the vegetation as we showed on our powerpoint proposal. Now they want to make us go through the entire NEPA process. This consists of an EIS (environmental impact study) and is a lengthy expensive process. The BLM office in that district has a huge backlog of work on other issues (mostly oil and gas leases) so they are not in a position to provide the study. The lands in the area are not pristine. They show the scars of mining exploration cuts, road building, and logging everywhere. The BLM knows this. I told them that there must be some precedent in place for clearing launches like the ones in Lakeview, Dinosaur, Mingus, etc. They want to help us but they say they have to follow the rules.

Who is THE local pilot in Lakeview that could give us some advice on how to get past the NEPA process? Does anyone have any contact info for the BLM office in the Lakeview area? How about the NFS? I promise to be discrete and not rock the boat.

Same thing for Mingus.

Same thing for Dinosaur.

I would like to hear from pilots who have dealt with these issues and how they turned out.

You can E-mail me directly at srathbun@xmission.com

Thanks again,

Steve Rathbun
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combat2
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Enviornmental impact study

Post by combat2 »

For Sandia here in New Mexico, we have to go through a in-depth permit renewal process every 5 years. Each year we do an informal renewal with the forest service to maintain the same permit. Part of our 5 year permit renewal is the enviornmental impact study. The forest service usually does a site walk-through and determines that the enviornmental impact study is not necessary. I believe they have done an enviornmental impact study in the past but generally elect not to do so. They are the entity who arranges for this to be done. Not the hanggliding club. The sandia soaring association does not pay for this study. I hope this helps.
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Steve Rathbun
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Post by Steve Rathbun »

For those of you who can't open a power point presentation, here is an Adobe .PDF version.

http://www.xmission.com/~srathbun/Silve ... 20Oct3.pdf

Its about 7 MB so it will take a while to load. But check it out.
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Lead Brick
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Post by Lead Brick »

What ever came of this effort? Is it still stalled? Is it no longer being pursued?
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